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Collaboration through Collective Impact
There are several civic organizations that already exist in Pleasantville and are doing great things for the community. But many times, there is a lack of coordination among these groups which could lead to overlapping efforts, a competition for resources or even a decline in volunteers due to fatigue. The success of the projects proposed in this plan are determined by these organizations and other individuals working together to champion change.
The guiding principles of Collective Impact:
It starts with a common agenda
First and foremost, groups need to work together to collectively define the primary problem or challenge and then create a shared vision to solve it as a community. This starts by each group sharing their mission statement or vision and then the group will discuss how their goals overlap.
It establishes shared measurements
Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable.
It fosters mutually reinforcing activities
Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action. In other words, participant groups need to coordinate collective efforts to maximize the end result.
It encourages continuous communication
That means building trust and relationships among all participants through monthly or quarterly meetings. A monthly or quarterly newsletter is another great way to keep everyone connected. A third suggestion would be to create a Facebook page that is the hub for activities, events, volunteer opportunities, etc.
It provides a backbone of support
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.
How it Works
Disorder and Confusion
No one working together
Isolated; each person has their own goal
Goals aligned but not working together
Collaborative action toward a common goal
The Action Steps
Establish an umbrella organization with representative of all civic groups to keep one another looped into projects and identify opportunities to collaborate on initiatives. The recently formed Pleasantville Betterment Organization would be the logical choice as the umbrella organization.
City, Chamber of Commerce, Betterment Committee, civic clubs, school board, high school clubs
First organize a meeting to convene the various community groups and identify a shared set of goals (i.e. Collective Impact process). A conversation on what actions can be taken by these groups, individually or collaboratively, to achieve these share goals. Assign a timeline of completion in increments of one quarter, one-year and three-years. The group should set meeting dates for each quarter to check-in on progress and identify areas where groups need assistance.
As part of that original meeting, a “backbone” organization – either individual group or a few- should step forward as the responsible party to schedule future meetings and be the central contact to connect groups where appropriate.
No funding necessary aside from optional food and beverage for meetings.
For more information on achieving Collective Impact, see Appendix B: Collective Impact Guidance Document.