Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Jul 10, 2014 When to Apply Collective Impact 

We have noticed lately that some social change practitioners are feeling pressured to apply “Collective Impact” given its popularity in the field. Since Collective Impact is one of many different tools, which model you should use is entirely dependent on the result that you are trying to achieve. At Living Cities, we’re finding it useful to try and think about different models of cross-sec...

Blog Post by Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Dec 9, 2014 Collective Impact Initiatives in Massachusetts See Early Progress  

Massachusetts cities are transforming the lives of their low-income residents with the support of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge and Living Cities. Twenty small cities formed cross-sector partnerships to solve complex challenges impacting the lives of these cities’ lower income residents. In the fall of 2013, cities submitted proposals for awards to help fund thei...

Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Nov 6, 2014 Eight Yummy Tensions of Collective Impact 

This month, we’re reflecting on the principles of Collective Impact! This Throwback Thursday blog, originally posted on July 3, 2014, explore some yummy tensions we’ve seen play out in collective impact efforts. I had the great fortune of attending the first learning community of the Working Cities Challenge (WCC), an initiative led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to advance ...

Blog Post by Dan Duncan, May 26, 2015 Relationships and Trust: The Second Core Component of Effective Collective Impact 

This is the second blog in my series on the four components of effective collective impact. The four components are: 1) Community engagement and co-production; 2) Relationships and trust; 3) Results and accountability; and 4) A clear, common purpose. The second component for effective collective impact is Relationships and Trust. To achieve the results we are striving for, it takes f...

Blog Post by Laura Ravinder , Aug 20, 2015 How Newark’s Collective Impact Initiative Thrived From Booker to Baraka 

Political transitions could spell disaster for local collective impact efforts. Changes in public sector leadership have the potential erode hard-earned trust in a partnership. During transition periods, there is usually enormous uncertainty and anxiety and priorities can shift, policies can be altered, and personnel can change. If you’ve lived through one of these transitions, you’ll know bett...

Blog Post by Dwayne Marsh, Sep 9, 2014 Practical Links between Collective Impact Principles and Federal Government Sustainability Efforts 

In the shadow of the Great Recession, President Obama called on federal agencies to employ creative strategies that would restore stability to the economy, address growing income inequality, and create opportunities for families to enter the middle the class. In response to President Obama’s challenge, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transporta...

Blog Post by Nancy Zimpher, Feb 11, 2016 Want to Achieve Collective Impact? Accept That There Is an “I” in Team 

Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Chancellor and a pioneer of collective impact, reflects on the role of the individual in this collaborative approach to change. This post originally appeared on Striving For Change, the StriveTogether Blog on February 9, 2016. Based on my experience over the last few decades working on collective impact, I know that the saying “There is no ‘I’ in team” is right only some o...

Blog Post by Juan Sebastian Arias, Mar 6, 2014 Backbones of Backbones? How Regional and State Intermediaries Can Help Scale Collective Impact 

The potential impact of bringing together decision-makers from across sectors to work together towards a shared vision is being proven in efforts around the country. The rigorous form of data-driven cross-sector collaboration known as collective impact has been particularly successful in the cradle-to-career movement led by the national StriveTogether Network. StriveTogether has helped over 10...

Blog Post by Juan Sebastian Arias & Ronda Jackson, Oct 11, 2013 Lessons from the Field: The Role of the Public Sector in Collective Impact 

The public sector plays a critical role in solving the complex problems facing cities today. Their formal authority, ability to use the bully pulpit, and access to significant resources uniquely positions them to help transform the systems that currently contribute to inequality. In tackling these big challenges, local government can increase its impact through more effective collaboration – in...

Blog Post by Juan Sebastian Arias, Feb 13, 2014 5 Ways Mayors Can Support Collective Impact 

In recent years, data driven cross-sector partnerships in the cradle-to-career field have refined a promising collective impact framework for tackling society’s largest, messiest problems. These cradle-to-career partnerships have adopted the framework by (1) bringing cross-sector decision-makers together around a common vision, (2) using data to track metrics towards these shared community o...

Blog Post by Juan Sebastian Arias, Feb 13, 2014 5 Ways Mayors Can Support Collective Impact 

In recent years, data driven cross-sector partnerships in the cradle-to-career field have refined a promising collective impact framework for tackling society’s largest, messiest problems. These cradle-to-career partnerships have adopted the framework by (1) bringing cross-sector decision-makers together around a common vision, (2) using data to track metrics towards these shared community o...

Blog Post by Juan Sebastian Arias, Jul 30, 2014 Four Insights on how Collective Impact, Community Engagement and Racial Equity Intersect  

At Living Cities, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to change the systems that consistently produce poverty, income inequality, and all their related disparities. One of our core beliefs is that the seemingly intractable problems facing cities today can only be addressed when decision-makers from across different sectors come together around a common vision to re-engineer the systems th...

Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Apr 1, 2014 Four “Keep it Real” Insights About Applying the Principles of Collective Impact 

In recent years, data driven cross-sector partnerships have refined promising collective impact principles for tackling society’s largest, messiest problems. Here are some “keep it real insights” about what these principles look like in practice and what it takes to apply these principles effectively. 1. Is Collective Impact Really Innovative? The short answer is yes! The long answer is not for...

Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Oct 20, 2015 How to Successfully Plan for Collective Impact 

We were excited to announce the expansion of The Integration Initiative this week. After a year of planning, collective impact initiatives in four cities–Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle/King County–will join the existing members of The Integration Initiative (TII) cohort to further their work changing systems to improve the lives of low-income people. Throughou...

Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson & Bradford Frost, Apr 4, 2016 The Evolution of Collective Impact in Detroit 

The Integration Initiative—or “TII”—began in 2010 as a pioneering approach to community development. Living Cities designed TII, a precursor to the collective impact model, to support “bold, promising approaches that have the potential to transform the lives of low-income people and the communities in which they live.” The first round of TII lasted from 2010-2014, and involved a network of cr...

Blog Post by Elizabeth Vargas, Nov 7, 2014 Collective Impact 3.0: And Other #GoodReads from Living Cities Staff 

Our staff are constantly learning. They scan the field for thought-provoking articles and information on issues affecting the communities we serve. This week, check out the big ideas from the CI Summit in Tornonto, learn about the troubling lending gap between minority and white entrepreneurs and much more. Happy Reading! Collective ImpactCollective Impact 3.0: Big Ideas from CI Summit in Toron...

Blog Post by Brian Reilly, Mar 27, 2014 Exploring Collective Impact Potential in the South and West: Lessons Learned Through Living Cities’ TII Round 2 

This past fall, Living Cities undertook a major exploration of new potential grantee sites for the second round of The Integration Initiative (TII). One of our goals with this second round of TII was to expand Living Cities’ geographic footprint to work more deeply in areas of the country where we hadn’t worked before. Since our current portfolio is concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, we...

Blog Post by Elizabeth Vargas, Oct 24, 2014 The Culture of Collective Impact: And Other #GoodReads from Living Cities Staff 

This week we’re sharing a collection of articles that highlight the ways that civic leaders are tackling some of their regions’ toughest challenges - from engaging local communities to helping residents access bike-share to advocating for the homeless. Happy Reading! Collective Impact The Culture of Collective Impact - By Paul Schmitz, The Huffington Post Paul Schmitz, former CEO of Public Al...

Blog Post by Jeff Raderstrong, Jul 2, 2014 Racism, Collective Impact and Systems Change: Tying it all Together 

Collective impact is fundamentally about systems change. Systems change is a complicated topic to discuss because systems come in all shapes and sizes—there’s a workforce development system, an education system, a health system. Systems change can focus on a geographic level—a neighborhood system is different than a city-wide system is different than a state system is different than a federal s...

Blog Post by Robin Brule & Shanee Helfer, May 8, 2019 Navigating Collective Impact through a Mayoral Transition 

On Wednesday 5/15, Living Cities and Albuquerque, NM cross-sector leadership will present at the Collective Impact Forum. Their session titled “Navigating Collective Impact through a Mayoral Transition” will take place on from 10:30 - 11:45 AM CT. Follow along and join the conversation using #CIConvening and @CIForumTweets, and in the meantime read their reflections: Leadership transitions w...

Resource by Elizabeth Vargas & Nadia Owusu, Nov 30, 2015 The 4Ps of Pay For Success Blog Series: Final Report on Analytics, Impact and Learning 

Living Cities is committed to making our learning open and accessible to others in real-time, in order to deepen and accelerate promising solutions to social problems. We refer to this practice as “open-sourcing social change.” Learn more about Open-Sourcing Social Change. As part of that commitment, our knowledge and communications strategies focus on creating and disseminating ...

Resource by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, May 18, 2016 Data-Driven Feedback Loop Examples 

At Living Cities, we think of the use of data for collective impact as a continuous “feedback loop” that helps you change behavior and create systemic change in communities. The goal of this data-driven feedback loop is learning and improvement. We break this feedback loop down into four components: key drivers; 3-6 and 6-10 year outcomes; and a shared result. A data-driven feedback loop ensure...

Person Jennifer Perkins  

Jennifer joined Living Cities in June 2015 as a member of the Collective Impact team. Prior to joining Living Cities, Jennifer served as the Director of Network Engagement for StriveTogether, a grantee of Living Cities.

Our Work Foreclosure Mitigation 

In addition to our core portfolio of work, we work to be a platform for our member institutions to come together to be responsive to a rapidly changing environment–From Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, to finding promising approaches to address the realities of the foreclosure crisis in 2007. And, an ambitious research and development agenda has created space for Living Cities staff and ...

Person Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Hannah Schiff 

Recent studies Hannah has contributed to include Scaling Community Investing in the U.S., landscape reports on impact investing in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the JP Morgan-GIIN Annual Impact Investor Survey, and a study of the financial performance of private equity impact investing funds. Before joining the GIIN, Hannah led research and strategy development for a start-up social impa...

Resource by Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Feb 26, 2016 Meeting Icebreakers 

The right icebreaker can profoundly change the tone of a meeting. This is especially true in the early states of collective impact work, when the norms and culture of a partnership are still developing. Even when you are starting with a “coalition of the willing,” potential partners come to the table with independent agendas, professional titles, and assumptions about how the work of the partne...

Resource by Jennifer Perkins & Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Nov 10, 2015 Action Commitment Exercise 

This exercise was adapted from the work of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Accountability can present a major barrier to achieving a cross-sector partnership’s intended impact. However, accountability is crucial to ensure work is moving forward and progressing in a way that contributes to a partnership’s [[definition “shared result” “A collectively and clearly defined re...

Resource by Jeff Raderstrong & Jennifer Perkins , Nov 10, 2015 Cross-Sector Partnership Assessment Group Planning and Discussion Guide 

Living Cities developed the Cross-Sector Partnership Assessment to help those engaged in cross-sector partnerships, particularly collective impact partnerships, understand how to best work with stakeholders to achieve dramatically better results for low-income people in cities. The Assessment was developed for multiple representatives to complete the Assessment and then discuss the feedback the...

Our Work Civic Tech and Data Collaborative 

Technology and data have the potential to transform the way cities function. We believe that technology can be a force for the public good, and that institutions and sectors can collaborate and involve local residents in the design of civic tech and data solutions that address the needs of low-income people. The Civic Tech and Data Collaborative supports these collaborations with grants, coachi...

Our Work Open Sourcing Social Change 

Despite all of our best efforts, forty six million Americans are still living in poverty. The pace of social change is too slow; the scale too small. It is clear that no one leader, organization, or sector can create enduring change on their own. Complex, interconnected problems require interconnected solutions. Open-sourcing social change challenges a bias in philanthropy and the social secto...

Our Work Anchor Institutions 

From 2010-2013, Living Cities supported several cities experimenting with the potential of Anchor Institutions—local universities and hospitals to transform economic systems. Most of these investments came through our five-city, $85 million ( Integration Initiative.) These efforts have sought to varying degrees to leverage the anchor functions of: Procurement, on the hypothesis that making mo...

Our Work Mayors and Schools Field Trip 

The most visible public official in cities and, arguably, the most important way families judge their cities, coexist in the same space but frequently have no formal relationship. Mayors, often pushed hard by their constituents for visible results, seek ways to improve schools, and schools in turn seek support from mayors. However, the terms of engagement are often vague and tied precariously ...

Person Mobile, Alabama i-team Jeff Carter 

Earlier in his career, Jeff led multiple nonprofit organizations through renewal and re-branding efforts to increase their capacity and impact on the community. Jeff’s main focus is developing and implementing data-driven policies and procedures which result in significant increases in efficiency, flexibility, and financial stability.

Person Color of Change Rashad Robinson 

Launched in 2005, Color Of Change is committed to creating opportunities for people to respond to injustice, and work to dismantle systems that perpetuate racism wherever it exists–in politics, culture, the economy, in criminal justice or community life. With over 900,000 members, Color Of Change designs strategic initiatives—media campaigns, petitions, boycotts and others—that people can...

Person Next Street Tim Ferguson 

Tim is the Founder and Chairman of Next Street.  Next Street is a certified B Corporation with offices in Boston, New York City, and Chicago.  The firm provides advice and capital solutions to revitalize communities, grow businesses, create jobs, and deliver financial and social returns to their partners.  Next Street works with organizations that are innovative, forward-thinking, and growth-or...