How do you build broad community coalitions that are effective at solving big community problems? The answer, say some of the nation’s top nonprofit sector leaders, is “Collective Impact.”
Public Allies CEO Paul Schmitz was recently invited by the Stanford Social Innovation Review to join a distinguished group of sector leaders to explore the promises and challenges of expanding the reach of Collective Impact across the nation, and a transcript of that discussion can be seen here.
Schmitz, a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, was joined on the panel by leaders like Stacey Stewart, executive vice president for United Way Worldwide, and Patty Stonesifer, chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions and former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The fragmentation, the competition, and the turf in the nonprofit sector are massive impediments to solving problems,” said Schmitz during the panel, a transcript of which is being published in the fall issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
“What woke me up to the need for a different approach was a headline I read two years ago that said African-American children in Milwaukee had the worst fourth-grade reading scores in the country,” Schmitz continued. “The week before I had literally read a major youth organization’s appeal about all the outcomes they were achieving for thousands of kids in the city. So I began thinking, ‘Okay, if you’re having all those successes, then why do we have the worst fourth-grade reading scores in the country?’ Not too long after that I read about what United Way in Milwaukee was doing about teen pregnancy, and their collective approach intuitively made a lot more sense.”
The “Collective Impact” model for addressing community problems gets various organizations to work together on a common agenda to solve problems and create significant impact they are not able to achieve on their own.
To learn more about Collective Impact, and to read the full script of the discussion courtesy of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, click here.