What is collective impact?

Collective impact is the commitment of a group of individuals from different sectors to work toward a common goal of solving a complex social problem.

In order to create lasting solutions to social problems on a large-scale, organizations — including those in government, civil society, and the business sector — need to coordinate their efforts and work together around a clearly defined goal.

Collective impact is a significant shift from the social sector’s current paradigm of "isolated impact," because the underlying premise of collective impact 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 scaling or replicating one organization or program. Strong organizations are necessary but not sufficient for large-scale social change.


Collective impact is more rigorous and specific than collaboration among organizations. There are five conditions that, together, lead to meaningful results from collective impact:

  1. Common Agenda: All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem, and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions.
  2. Shared Measurement: All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement.
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
  4. Continuous Communication: All players engage in frequent and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
  5. Backbone Support: An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.

Sourced from: FSG, Inc. website http://www.fsg.org/OurApproach/WhatIsCollectiveImpact.aspx / N.B. The following article may also be of interest: Collective Impact by John Kania and Mark Kramer Standford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011/ http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/collective_impact

One 27 Global's goal is to function as the backbone organization to implement and measure systematic change needed to lead Lowell into a prosperous future. As that we focus on identifying current needs and invite the stakeholders in our community that are best equipped to solve them to collaborate with us for a shared vision and strategy. One 27 Global than facilitates all activities necessary to advance the visions, and make collectives successful.

We communicate about the initiates and projects to the greater community to advance public will and participation, and we work for policy change, when needed.

For us, every initiative we facilitate is not about our organization, but always about our partners and the betterment of Lowell as a whole.