Collective Impact

Collective Impact

Big, complex problems require a collective approach with a shared vision and goals, and all hands on deck, rowing in the same direction. That is the bottom line of why, at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, we are partnering with other organizations to work together.

Collective impact, through investment in backbone organizations and shared outcomes, enables our community to work toward common goals, plotting our course together, and moving in the same direction. We can’t just meet at the destination. Together we may come up with solutions.

How Collective Impact Works

Learn more about how Collective Impact works at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Supporting Backbone Organizations

To make progress more quickly, GCF is investing in “backbone” organizations that serve as catalysts for change in these areas. These partnerships will help the backbone organizations work better together across sectors, address resource gaps, and fuel the broad implementation of strategies that work.

Along with grants, we are working with these groups to provide support, evaluation, and technical assistance.

GCF's 7 Backbone Partnerships:

Soapbox Cincinnati Special Reports

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is working with Soapbox Cincinnati to create a series of special reports highlighting the Foundation's work on Collective Impact and its impact on our community. 

Featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review

In 2012, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and FSG authored this four-part series in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about the role of backbone organizations in collective impact efforts.

  1. What is takes to be a backbone organization
  2. Expected outcomes
  3. What we learned
  4. What's next

As a continuation of their initial writings, in 2013 The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and FSG authored a two-part series in the Stanford Social Innovation Review on how backbone organizations shape the work of collective impact without formal authority, along with a stand alone piece about how the nature of design thinking complements and strengthens collective impact frameworks in 2015.

  1. Exerting influence without formal authority
  2. Measuring contributions
  3. Turning empathy into action

In 2016, Stanford Innovation Review published a blog post about measurement and evaluation of Collective Impact in Cincinnati 

  1. Measurement & Evaluation: Evaluating Community Change

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