Collective Impact Study Update

By Jewlya Lynn, Founder and Chief Learning Officer, Spark Policy Institute; and Sarah Stachowiak, CEO, ORS Impact Back in May, 2017 ORS Impact and Spark Policy Institute embarked on an ambitious and important study to explore how collective impact contributes to changes in systems and populations through its unique approach to addressing social issues. We are pleased to update […]

Collective Impact Study Sites

Site/Initiative Name Location Issue Area Contribution Site Equity Site Alignment Nashville Nashville, TN Education – Multi-Issue X ARISE Anchorage, AK Education for Indigenous Students X Aspen Community Foundation Cradle to Career Aspen, Basalt CO Cradle to Career – Education Coalition for New Britain’s Youth New Britain, CT Cradle to Career – Education, Early Learning Colorado […]

Spark Update: In Systems Change, Individuals Matter

Individuals Matter. Many of the problems our partners are working to address cannot be solved by organizations working in isolation: our impact is greater when we work together and ensure those most impacted by the change are part of the problem-definition and solution. Spark’s approach to systems change is fundamentally grounded in an inclusive and […]

Integrating Lenses for a Systems Approach

Systems thinking is often considered a broad view of all the pieces required to make meaningful change happen. It’s essential to making real change – but when we equate the system with the change, we overlook the individual players. These individual players are crucial to making change happen, and can get lost in the complexity. […]

Improving the Attendance Landscape for Colorado Youth

A new report commissioned by the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Council’s Low-Risk High-Needs (LRHN) Committee highlights the need for increased cross-system collaboration and holistic programming to support Colorado youth with school attendance problems. Currently, youth who have four unexcused absences in a month or ten unexcused absences in a year are considered truant, and begin […]

Three Tips for Making Network Analysis Actionable for Your Social Impact Project

Many of our partners have adopted what Jed Miller and Rob Stuart called “Network-Centric Thinking.” They recognize that long-term sustainable progress on today’s social problems rarely comes from the efforts of a single organization. Rather, progress requires a strategy involving networks of organizations with the aim of producing network effects. However, the strategist and evaluator’s […]

Using frameworks to communicate systems level insights

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Council has a tall order – prevent youth from entering the justice system or from penetrating deeper into the justice system. The goal cannot be met through program implementation alone. The systems serving the youth must change how they work together (or begin working together) in order to meet […]

Case Study: Emergent Philanthropy

A new article in the Foundation Review describes the tools we used in partnership with Harder+Company and The Civic Canopy to support an adaptable design for The Colorado Health Foundation’s (TCHF) Creating Healthy Schools funding strategy. The article dives deep into the principles of emergent philanthropy, and how TCHF worked to co-create their strategy, funding […]

For the Good of the Group: Be Nice, Respond in Kind, Be Forgiving

When working to change complex systems it can be difficult for individual stakeholders to engage in authentic collaboration. This is neuroscience. We are all motivated to move away from perceived threats and toward perceived reward. Bringing multiple actors together to work toward a common goal can create conflict between doing what is best for the […]

The Collective Impact Research Study: What is all this really going to mean, anyway?

By Jewlya Lynn, CEO, Spark Policy Institute; Sarah Stachowiak, CEO, ORS Impact It’s easy for evaluators to sometimes get tied up in the technical terms around our work, leaving lay people unclear on what some of our decisions and choices mean.  Without care, we can also risk being opaque about what a particular design can […]

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