Resource by Laura Ravinder & Lauren Greenawalt, Dec 15, 2015 Collective Impact Literature Review 

As we continuously test the principles of collective impact and learn from our site partners and colleagues in the field, we are committed to sharing what we are learning along the way. We recently conducted a literature review on collective impact sources with the goals of (1), to create a comprehensive overview of the current topics covered within collective impact, and (2) to identify the tr...

Blog Post by Robin Brule, Jan 27, 2016 Aligning Allies and Contributions: Using Results Based Accountability to Create Collective Impact 

Perhaps you’ve seen the cartoon that shows four people in a rowboat. A hole in the stern causes the small vessel to quickly fill with water as two of the passengers desperately bail. Meanwhile, the other two sit leisurely at the helm, watching the action with passive interest. “Sure glad the hole isn’t at our end,” they comment to each other, oblivious as the boat they all share slowly sinks. ...

Blog Post by Carmen Rojas, Oct 14, 2013 Optimizing the Role of Local Philanthropic Institutions in Collective Impact Partnerships 

Over the course of the last year, Living Cities has partnered with Strive Together to understand how collective impact partnerships are coalescing in cities across the country. Collective impact, a framework for organizing leaders with resources behind specific outcomes and uses data to track progress to goals, has been all the rage as civic leaders are seeking new ways to solve problems facing...

Blog Post by Kurt Sommer, Jun 6, 2012 From Baltimore to the Twin Cities: Reflections on Collective Impact 

“Great cities are not built on condos and coffee shops alone,” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said as he described the work underway in the Twin Cities to guide the region’s HUD Sustainable Communities and Living Cities awards to maximize local planning and investment opportunities. Civic and political leaders in cities around the country are increasingly recognizing that today’s fiscal environme...

Blog Post by Alison Gold, Nov 15, 2013 How do you Build the “Right” Cross-Sector Partnership to do Collective Impact? 

I believe in the power of cross-sector partnerships to address really wicked social and economic problems. But, I also believe that people who staff, participate in, and fund cross-sector partnerships need a systematic way and shared language to reflect on whether their partnerships are structured and behaving in ways that can plausibly lead to the achievement of their goals. Since September...

Blog Post by Kirsten Wysen, Jul 24, 2014 How to Steer a Collective Impact Initiative through Community Engagment 

Community engagement is a critical part of making lasting changes in low-income places. It’s worth the effort, resources and time to do well at both the grass-roots community level and at the grass-tops political and organizational leader level. “Communities of Opportunity,” a cross-sector partnership in Seattle/King County, recently joined The Integration Initiative with a bold goal of decreas...

Blog Post by Eileen Neely & Brian R. Nagendra, Dec 15, 2016 What We Learned About Collective Impact Through Raising the Blended Catalyst Fund 

A year ago, Living Cities today launched the Blended Catalyst Fund, a $36 million impact investing debt fund that tests innovative approaches to solving urban problems. The Blended Catalyst Fund combines philanthropic and commercial debt under the premise that both types of capital are needed to support initiatives that achieve better results for low-income people in US cities. The Fund is curr...

Blog Post by Jeff Raderstrong, Feb 10, 2015 How to Create Lively Collective Impact: Reflections from Seattle/King County 

Last April, five new sites from the southern and western U.S. joined the existing partners in The Integration Initiative (TII). Albuquerque, New Orleans, San Antonio, San Francisco and Seattle/ King County will apply the principles of collective impact to increase opportunities for low-income people. Living Cities and our partners learned a lot from the first round of TII – and know we s...

Blog Post by Ayana Crichton, Jun 13, 2019 Reflections on Leading Racial Equity Work in Collective Impact 

OneCranston’s story has many similarities to the stories of those leading racial equity and inclusion work in many cities and institutions throughout our country. As we read and hear about more and more institutions each day talking about race and our racial inequities, we are left with a difficult, personal question: “What is my role, and how much impact can I truly have?” The Pew Research Cen...

Blog Post by Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Apr 10, 2014 Applying Collective Impact Principles to the Workforce Ecosystem 

This post is a reponse to a March 21, 2014 article in the San Francisco Business Times: San Francisco Seeks to Coordinate Workforce Development Programs. As public focus has turned toward domestic issues more heavily in the last few years, there has been a renewed emphasis on addressing unemployment. As a result, the number of workforce development programs has expanded significantly, but ther...

Blog Post by Ben Hecht, Mar 16, 2016 Our 2015 Annual Report: The #HereAndNow Toolbox 

Today, we’re excited to announce our 2015 annual report, #HereAndNow: The New Urban Practice Toolbox. In our previous annual report, we asked our member institutions and other partners in the social change field to respond to this question: “What will it take to dramatically improve the lives of low-income people, faster?” Throughout 2015, we received answers to this question from litera...

Blog Post by Elodie Baquerot, May 5, 2015 Three Lessons on How to Accelerate Your Impact by Sharing Knowledge 

The Integration Initiative began in 2010 with the promise of transforming the lives of low-income people and the communities in which they live in cities across the country. Our five initial site partners in The Integration Initiative (TII) (in Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Newark, and Minneapolis/Saint Paul) took a different approach to community development by building cross-sector tables an...

Blog Post by Lata Reddy, Oct 26, 2016 Impact Investing: A Look Back to Pave a Path Forward 

This blog post is part of the series “Closing the Racial Gaps: Together We Can,” which highlights efforts across the United States that show promise for closing racial opportunity gaps and creating a more equitable future. Impact investing possesses enormous potential to direct much-needed capital to the most pressing issues our society faces, including education, affordable hous...

Blog Post by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson & Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Nov 2, 2016 What We Are Learning About Catalyzing Impact Investing in Dallas 

Last week I had the honor of announcing the Dallas Impact Investing Collaborative’s GrowSouth Sidecar fund. This was a pivotal moment as Living Cities has been part of DIIC’s journey in learning about impact investing locally for the last year and this is the first investment the group chose to make. Through this journey together, we have learned a few things about catalyzing impact investing, ...

Blog Post by Nadia Owusu, Mar 18, 2016 Open-Sourcing Social Change: Help Us to Build a Solutions Toolbox 

On Wednesday, Living Cities launched our 2015 Annual Report. We called it #HereAndNow: The New Urban Practice Toolbox. “Here” because we believe that people can use the tools curated in this new microsite wherever they are–in cities around the country and beyond. And “now” because we need a social change field that is taking on poverty and inequality with urgency....

Blog Post by Amy Chung & Jed Emerson, Dec 11, 2014 Aligning Grants with Impact Investments Can Help Catalyze the Growing Impact Investing Field 

There has been a lot of buzz around ‘Impact Investing’ recently - and has been part of Living Cities work for decades. This Throwback Thursday post looks at prior research from early 2013, with Jed Emerson. The post originally appeared on February 5, 2013. Impact investing—the deployment of capital with the intent of not only generating financial return, but also producing measurab...

Blog Post by Eileen Neely, Apr 30, 2014 Social Impact “Bond” or Social Impact “Equity”? 

I googled “Social Impact Bond” ”not a bond” today, and got about 300 results. Although this measure is far from scientific, it does demonstrate that virtually everyone who talks or writes about Pay for Success agrees that the use of the term “Social Impact Bond” is misleading. It’s simply not a bond. But who cares? Isn’t this just semantics? As Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which...

Blog Post by Ben Hecht, Mar 5, 2015 #BensTake: Harnessing the Promise of Impact Investing So it Lands in Places 

Last week, the strongest signal yet that impact investing is coming of age, and fast, appeared in the mainstream press. Global investment powerhouse BlackRock unveiled BlackRock Impact, a platform that will allow their clients to make investments for social good. I don’t think the significance of this announcement can be understated. This is no announcement of a boutique product by a firm see...

Blog Post by Elizabeth Vargas, May 4, 2015 #NewUrbanPractice: Join a May 8 Twitter Chat About Expanding Impact Investing  

The current page of social change is too slow. Current solutions, too small. At Living Cities, we believe that, to create enduring change, we must all work together to build a new type of urban practice geared at getting dramatically better results for low-income people, faster. Mindful that no one individual, institution, or sector can achieve this goal alone, we decided to open source our 201...

Blog Post by Michael Isimbabi, Nov 12, 2015 After Baltimore: Revitalizing Distressed Communities through Impact Investing and Entrepreneurship (Part II) 

Last week, in Part I of this blog, I made the case for an impact investment fund specifically targeted to distressed communities. I am currently in the process of exploring the possibilities for and developing such a fund. Part II covers possibilities for the framework and implementation. Here, I share some of my emergent thinking. My eBook, Pooling Our Resources to Foster Black Progress: An ...

Blog Post by Elizabeth Vargas, Nov 14, 2014 Paying for Pre-School with Social Impact Bonds: And Other #GoodReads from Living Cities Staff 

No matter what issue or topic your work focuses on, Living Cities staff have some great insight on useful articles, relevant to social changemakers across sectors. Check out this week’s collection of #GoodReads to learn more about collective impact and social investments and find workplace tips. Collective ImpactHow Public Policy Can Support Collective Impact - By FSG and the Forum for Youth In...

Our Work The Catalyst Funds: Our Impact Investing 

The Living Cities Catalyst Fund is a domestic impact investment vehicle that deploys concessionary, flexible debt from socially motivated investors. It was launched in July of 2008. The Catalyst Fund complements our grantmaking, research and policy work as a way to advance the Living Cities programmatic agenda. The Catalyst Fund was selected three years in a row (from 2011-2013) for the ImpactA...

Resource by Jeff Raderstrong, Mar 17, 2016 Webinar: Lessons from 500+ Cross-Sector Partnerships 

Structuring and managing a cross-sector partnership can be one of the hardest parts of collective impact. Using data collected from Living Cities' Cross-Sector Partnership Assessment, this webinar presented on the biggest trends in cross-sector partnerships and collective impact today. We discussed common challenges most cross-sector partnerships face, and explored a cross-sector case study...

Person UC Berkeley Juan Sebastian Arias 

Juan Sebastian Arias joined Living Cities in March 2012 as a member of the Collective Impact team. Before joining Living Cities, he served as a Commercial Revitalization Intern with WHEDco, a community development non-profit in the South Bronx. Prior to that, he was a Harvard Fellow with the New York City office of Enterprise Community Partners. There, he supported Enterprise’s various policy, ...

Person Paula Mukwaya 

Paula is a Net Impact New York City Board Fellow and AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) alumna of the New York City Civic Corps. She holds a B.A. in economics from Smith College.

Our Work City Accelerator 

Cities across the country are hungry to break away from business as usual. Faced with enormous social and economic challenges, leaders inside and outside of City Hall are looking for ways to break down barriers, redesign processes and test innovations that can improve the lives of residents, especially those with low incomes. City Accelerator advances these leading, game-changing innovations i...

Resource by JaNay Queen Nazaire, May 18, 2016 Data Inventory 

To achieve a [[definition “shared result” “A collectively and clearly defined result or goal that all partners in a collective impact initiative agree to hold themselves accountable to achieving.”]], you must collect data that tracks progress towards that shared result. Oftentimes, that data you want for your initiative may not exist, or may not be readily accessible to ...

Our Work The Integration Initiative 

Many cities today are program-rich, but focus on piecemeal approaches and workaround solutions. As one of Living Cities many investments, The Integration Initiative (TII) is a systems-change effort in which a cross section of leaders in select cities intentionally apply collective impact, public sector innovation, capital innovation and real-time sharing of learning. Living Cities believes th...

Person Northside Funders Group Tawanna Black 

Tawanna Black, Executive Director for the Northside Funders Group, is a nationally recognized thought leader, well-known for influencing, inspiring and equipping cross-sector leaders to transform personal convictions into actions that produce equitable and thriving communities. The Northside Funders Group is a place-based, collective impact organization of 20 corporate, community and private fo...

Resource by Brittany Ramos DeBarros, Mar 30, 2016 Video Case Study: Lawrence Working Families Initiative Addresses Unemployment 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge is an initiative to improve the lives of low-income people in smaller post-industrial cities across Massachusetts by fostering collaborative leadership, community engagement, and data informed decision making, all through the lens of changing systems. In this video, captured at a recent Working Cities Challenge funders plenary...

Person The Intersector Project Neil Britto 

As Executive Director of The Intersector Project, Neil leads organizational strategy, manages the organization’s research program, and leads efforts to form partnerships with leading organizations interested in cross-sector collaboration. Before joining The Intersector Project, Neil worked as a Project Coordinator and Senior Research Assistant to the York University Community Finance Project wh...

Resource Apr 7, 2011 Communities At Risk: How the Foreclosure Crisis Is Damaging Urban Areas and What is Being Done About It 

This document is an effort to take a look at the work of foreclosure mitigation pilot projects in 10 cities, to identify obstacles keeping these community groups from greater success, and to recommend changes to local, state and federal policies, while also identifying strategies that are beginning to work, home-by-home and block-by-block. In some cities, the crisis is so severe that these str...

Our Work Racial Equity Here 

From the inception of our country, government at the local, regional, state and federal level has played a role in creating and perpetuating racial inequity. By understanding how municipal operations affect people of color and reproduce inequities, city governments can begin to address them in transformative ways here and now. Racial Equity Here supports five U.S. cities committed to improving...

Our Work Democratic Innovation in World Megacities 

A partnership between Living Cities and the National Democratic Institute will find and tell stories of civic innovation in selected megacities around the world. Our focus is on urban democracy—innovations that improve the representation of, and results for, a city’s residents. Specifically, we intend to collect and share knowledge about how innovators are making city governments more nimble,...

Person The London School of Economics and Political Science Alyssa Campbell 

Alyssa was a summer intern for Living Cities in 2015, where she worked with the Knowledge and Impact cluster. She previously worked, amongst other things, with refugees, as a transportation planner, and in local journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Sciences Po Paris in Law, History, and Politics and spent a year studying at McGill University in Montreal.