“Collective Impact” – Mark Kramer

A couple of weeks back (click here from FB) I was sitting on a plane catching up on my reading and read an article this article in Stanford Innovation Review. The article is called “Collective Impact” by John Kania and Mark Kramer. I was so moved by the article that we arranged a call and just spent the past hour on the phone with Mark to talk about how this thinking could be applied to the Women’s Movement. The topic of the article – “Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations.”

Here are my highlights from the article but PLEASE read it first!!!

– About isolated impact – “despite the dominance of of this approach, there is scant evidence that isolated initiatives are the best way to solve many social problems in today’s compex and interdependent world.”
-This point – “social problems arise from the interplay of government and commercial activities, not only from the behavior of social sector organizations. As a result, complex problems can be solved only by cross-sector coalitions that engage those outside the nonprofit sector.”
– The FIVE CONDITIONS of Collective Success – love it!
– “The expectation that collaboration can occur without a supporting infrastructure is one of the most frequent reasons why it fails.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– “Funders’ reluctance to pay for infrastructure and preference for short term solutions.”
– The Story of STRIVE – that has a $1.5 million annual budget but is coordinating the efforts and increasing the effectiveness of organizations with combined budgets of $7 billion.” Refer to the upper point. Funders don’t like to fund infrastructure and yet the leverage that could be created by funding infrastructure is HUGE. We need to fund this infrastructure in a this Collective Impact manner.

“Until funders are willing to embrace this new approach and invest sufficient resources in the necessary facilitation, coordination, and measurement that enable organizations to work in concert, the requisite infrastructure will not evolve.” !!!!!!!!!!!! This is a call to action !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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