Collective Impact 101: Training for Nebraska’s communities


Nebraska Children partnered with The Peter Kiewit Foundation, The Sherwood Foundation, the Iowa West Foundation and the Lincoln Community Foundation to bring FSG to Nebraska to train on Collective Impact.

What’s Collective Impact and who’s FSG?

Collective Impact is a specific type of collaboration involving organizations from different sectors who commit to a common agenda, aligned efforts and sharing measurement systems and data to solve a specific social problem. The definition of Collective Impact emerged in 2011 – Read the original article now.

FSG (originally Foundation Strategy Group) is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research. They’re credited with developing the concept of Collective Impact and supporting communities to implement this special type of collaboration.

Training in Nebraska

Because Nebraska Children uses the Collective Impact model in our work with communities across the state, we were thrilled to bring FSG out to train community leaders and service providers about the nuts, bolts and how-tos of successful Collective Impact Initiatives.

On June 3 and 4, hundreds of Nebraska change-makers came together to deepen their understanding of Collective Impact, and learn how to make a more profound and permanent difference in the lives of their constituents.

Tuesday, June 3 

Leading  a Backbone Organization for Collective Impact (Omaha/Council Bluffs)

100+ attended this event on UNO’s campus. During the full afternoon session, they learned from FSG Director Jennifer Splansky Juster on:

  • Increasing their knowledge on the role and characteristics of successful backbones
  • Strengthening their ability to guide a Collective Impact effort toward desired results
  • Successful backbone structures, staffing, and functions
  • How to communicate the value and role of a backbone to funders
  • Successful backbone experiences

A “backbone organization” is one of the key components of a successful Collective Impact initiative. Read more about the critical role of backbone organizations now.

Wednesday, June 4

Collective Impact 101 (Lincoln)

At the Lincoln VItal Signs breakfast, a speaker from FSG covered the basics of Collective Impact and how it differs from other forms of collaboration. Attendees walked away understanding the structure of Collective Impact initiatives and how the approach has been successful for other communities.

Child Well Being Community Peer-to-Peer Training (Lincoln)

Nebraska Children brought together representatives from our eight statewide Child Well Being communities to discuss how each has successfully implemented the Collective Impact approach, and what challenges they’re striving to overcome.

Nebraska Children Workshop

FSG leaders facilitated a conversation with state and community leaders around the Collective Impact structures Nebraska Children has put in place around child abuse and neglect prevention and promoting child well-being across the state. During the session, FSG and the participants discussed how to overcome barriers to Collective Impact, strategies for sustainability of state/community collaborations, and policy and practice implications associated with greater collaboration.

Why this matters.

At Nebraska Children, the Collective Impact model is at the center of our child well-being work in communities. And a key component of our success is the trust among community partners and a real understanding of how a common agenda is a make-or-break proposition. Having FSG come in and train hundreds of statewide partners helped build and strengthen relationships within partnerships, while deepening understanding of the process of making positive change for Nebraska’s children. It was a monumental success.

Nebraska Children's mission is to maximize the potential of Nebraska’s children, youth, and families through collaboration and community-centered impact.

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Posted in Cradle to career

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