Evidence Based Practices

Scope and rationale

Collective Impact is the commitment of people from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem, e.g., child abuse and neglect. It is a disciplined effort to bring together dozens of organizations in a city, county or other area to establish a common vision, adopt a shared set of clearly defined and measurable goals, and systematically align and coordinate efforts to achieve those goals. It includes using evidence-based strategies that reinforce one another’s work. It may seem obvious or similar to collaboration, which is not new, but it is a departure from business as usual and has begun to produce compelling results in recent years. (The Power of Partnerships, Bornstein, NY Times, 3.7.13 and 3.13.13).

Collective Impact is a significant shift from the current practice of “isolated impact” by individual organizations. The underlying premise is that no single organization can create large-scale, lasting social change alone. There is no "silver bullet" solution to systemic social problems, and these problems cannot be solved by simply expanding one organization or program. Strong organizations are necessary but not sufficient for larger-scale social change. 

Collective Impact initiatives are being employed in the successful address of a wide variety of issues around the world, including education, healthcare, homelessness, the environment, and community development. 


There are five conditions that, together, lead to meaningful results from Collective Impact:

  1. Common Agenda: All participants have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions
  2. Shared Measurement: Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action
  4. Continuous Communication: Consistent and open communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation
  5. Backbone Organization: Creating and managing collective impact requires a separate organization(s) with staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative and coordinate participating organizations and agencies


FSG's What is Collective Impact?

Collective Impact, John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, Fay Hanleybrown, John Kania and Mark Kramer of FSG

Understanding the Vlaue of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2012

Backbone Effectiveness Indicators, FSG and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation


State partners

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation

Grantee communities

Panhandle Partnership

Grand Island

West Central Partnership for Child and Family Alliance - North Platte

Dakota County Connections

Platte-Colfax Counties

Fremont Family Coalition

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