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Penquis - What is Collective Impact

What is Collective Impact

Collective Impact is a new approach for tackling "big picture" community problems—things like homelessness, crime, or lack of affordable housing.  It recognizes that community problems are complex and that no single organization has the power or resources to create lasting, large-scale change in our communities.

Collective Impact, at its core, is centered on building diverse collaborations.  A typical project will have representation from a variety of interests, including citizen groups, nonprofits, business, and government.  These individuals agree to work cooperatively to identify community needs, develop solutions, and track progress towards a common goal.

A successful Collective Impact effort will have the following 5 conditions, which together result in collaboration and lead to powerful results.


The Collective Impact framework was conceptualized by John Kania and Mark Kramer in the Winter 2011 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review.  Groups across the country have since adopted this approach and found it to be a valuable tool for addressing a variety of complex community problems.  To learn more about Collective Impact projects across the country, review a sampling of case studies here.

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