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July 25, 2017
Nonprofits Utilize Collective Impact to Create Change
Nonprofits Utilize Collective Impact to Create Change

Nonprofits in cities across the country are seeing success by working across traditional partnership lines through an approach called collective impact. What is collective impact, and what are some examples? 


The National Council of Nonprofits describes collective impact as the “intentional way of working together and sharing information for the purpose of solving a complex problem”. It seems like a simple and common practice but many are finding that when they partner outside of their normal bounds, the collaborative effort has a much stronger effect. 


San Antonio hit the issue of homelessness head on using collective impact. Their Haven for Hope program has decreased homelessness by 80 percent since 2010 and other areas of Texas are following suit. Haven for Hope provides a wide range of social, health care, and rehabilitation services on their 22-acre campus, with the help of 93 partners from nonprofits, government offices and law enforcement groups.


Since 2012, Cincinnati has several collective impact initiatives that have been attributed to successful social change. They are striving to solve issues such as education, cleaner living and diversity; all complex issues that one nonprofit could not do alone.


The success of collective impact does not stop at social change; it also extends to economic success. Right here in the state of Tennessee, officials and nonprofits in Memphis enacted Memphis Fast Forward in 2013 to drastically increase their economic prosperity among other initiatives. As a result, it was found the initiative created about 17,000 new jobs and has saved taxpayers more than $75 million through government efficiency improvements.


While these cities have had success utilizing collective impact, what’s your favorite example of Chattanooga groups working together for change? What’s the next issue to tackle?