Charting a course for change – advancing education, income and health through collective impact
Submitted by unitedway, 18 Jul 2012
The challenges facing communities today seem almost overwhelming – and are too big for any single organisation to solve; too big even for the non-profit sector to solve without engaging private enterprise and government as partners. There is no single “silver bullet”; instead, a strong cross-sector infrastructure is needed to support collaboration, guide evidence-based decision-making, track community-level outcomes, scan existing resources and identify priority strategies.
This newly released report is a good starting point for any community that wants to improve education, health and financial stability. It brings together high-impact strategies and expert-vetted implementation approaches for communities to consider as they sort through how best to tackle their individual challenges.
Having well-researched data-driven strategies is critical, but strategies alone cannot solve our society’s problems. Instead we must adopt a new way of working by bringing nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public together around a common agenda to create collective impact. Our research has shown that a collective impact approach can produce large scale social change in ways that other forms of collaboration and individual efforts have not.
Collective impact is a disciplined effort to bring together dozens or even hundreds of organisations of all types to establish a common vision and pursue evidence-based actions in mutually reinforcing ways. Successful collective impact initiatives share five key conditions, distinguishing them from other types of collaboration:
- Common Agenda
- Shared Measurement
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities
- Continuous Communication
- Backbone Support
United Ways are powerfully positioned to lead this new way of solving our society’s daunting problems.
United Ways can train the spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders, and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage collective efforts. In many communities, FSG has found the traditional role of United Way as “neutral convener” is transforming to become the galvanizing force behind collective impact.
- Mark Kramer
Mark Kramer is co-founder and Managing Director of FSG (www.fsg.org) and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University. He is the author of influential publications on creating shared value for corporations, catalytic philanthropy, strategic evaluation, impact investing, and adaptive leadership.
Voices for the Common Good – The World Speaks out on Opportunity
Submitted by unitedway, 19 Jun 2012
Voices for the Common Good - The World Speaks out on Opportunity is based on more than 120 community conversations in a dozen countries. In these conversations, everyday people from all walks of life talked about their aspirations for their communities, the challenges they see in creating opportunity, and what it will take to make real progress in the areas central to a good life – education, income, and health.
What we learned is that even in the age of social media, people feel more isolated than ever. At the same time, when they talk about creating opportunities they don’t mention institutions but instead talk about things they themselves need to do. They want to make a difference and take responsibility for their own lives and their own communities but aren’t sure what they can do that will make a difference.
Common Cause Report Website Launched
Submitted by nicola, 14 Sep 2011
View our Common Cause research, conducted in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact at www.commoncause.com.au
Sydney as 100 People
Submitted by Geoff, 14 Sep 2011
As part of the Common Cause research report that United Way has released in conjunction with the Centre for Social Impact United Way has produced a video which captures a sense of what Sydney is really like.
For more information go to www.commoncause.com.au
Common Cause Research Released
Submitted by Geoff, 14 Sep 2011
United Way Sydney recently commissioned a research report with the Centre for Social Impact, called the Common Cause Report. It identified the
areas of key social need – Education, Income and Health – across the most disadvantaged geographical areas.
Troublingly, the research showed that all 3 areas are linked – should you fall down in one, chances are you’ll suffer in the others as well…
• People with higher levels of education get more interesting, safer and better paid jobs, and are, on the whole, healthier.
• People with good health often have less difficulty finding and keeping a job or maintaining an education – so are less likely to be poor and in need of services.
• A reliable and adequate income enables better access to health, education, housing and other services. • Suitable and adequate housing can provide a sense of security and a means to receive services, seek employment and maintain a social life.
For more information visit www.comoncause.com.au