Collaboration is a common strategy to solve social problems, but collective impact—aligning diverse stakeholders around shared outcomes—may be less familiar. And the two are not one and the same.

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What distinguishes collective impact from collaboration?


Programs vs. outcomes—...collective impact organizes stakeholders around shared outcomes
Prove vs. improve—Collaborators often uses data to prove things; collective impact is focused on using data to make improvements in real time.
Do more vs. work better—Collaborators may be asked to take on additional tasks
Importing ideas vs. engaging community—Collaborators often introduce ideas from other communities

What roles do funders (large and small) play in collective impact efforts?

Strategic planning—What already exists? What is working? Landscape scanning is a crucial step in collective impact.
Capacity building—What skills or capabilities are needed by those coordinating the effort, or by community partners?
Executive on loan—community-based entities may also need particular roles or skills for a period of time.
Convener—funders [need] to use the language of collective impact to bring people together.
Accountability measures—Holding one another accountable is a tenet of collective impact.
Financing small programs/filling gaps

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