Collective Impact

The strategy of Collective Impact hinges on the idea that in order for organizations to create lasting solutions to social problems on a large-scale, they need to coordinate their efforts, work together toward clearly defined goals, and hold themselves jointly accountable for success. The approach of collective impact differs from “individual impact,” in which organizations work primarily alone to solve social problems. Collective impact enables cross-sector coalitions to achieve greater and more sustainable large-scale progress on social issues.
Since its founding in 1980, ACF has convened local organizations and leading stakeholders to identify regional needs and implement effective solutions through its relationships, institutional knowledge and grantmaking. As it was approaching its 30th anniversary, ACF sought to challenge itself, and to solve the problems that persisted in their community. We recognized the serious disparity in youth development and educational outcomes between low-income and more affluent youth in our service region, and decided to do something extraordinary with their extensive resources and ambitious goals. 

ACF adopted the strategy of Collective Impact from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and saw its potential to address complex issues in a new way, Collective Impact fundamentally changes the way communities work together to amplify the impact of organizations and to create sustainable solutions.

In the Collective Impact strategy, ACF serves in the key role of the backbone organization responsible for initiating and continuous managing implementation of the Cradle to Career Initiative (CCI). The backbone guides the vision, builds networks, collects data, mobilizes funding, advances policy and communicates impact throughout the CCI network.