The Importance of Collective Impact

What is collective impact?

Collective impact is more than just a fancy name for collaboration. It is a structured approach for creating collaborative partnerships with a specific focus on working together to solve complex social and health problems that do not have a single, defined source or solution. Collective impacts helps to create a community for problem solving, helping multiple organizations accomplish a shared set of goals. Collective impact proposes bringing together people and organizations from multiple sectors, ranging from education to housing to healthcare, to unite for one purpose. The idea of collective impact was first conveyed in the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article “Collective Impact”. The concept has five conditions that must be met: common agenda, shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, backbone organization. 

5 conditions of collective impact

Why is collective impact important?

Put Community First 

The idea of collective impact emphasizes a community wide strategic lens approach to solving problems. Most health and social problems do not have one simple solution. When thinking about how to best solve problems in a community, there are many pieces of the puzzle that must come together to provide a holistic solution. While one piece may solve one problem, when all pieces come together a more impactful solution is created for the community. Individuals in the community may also need assistance from more than one kind of resource, so making referrals between organizations is critical for getting individuals the extra help they need. Collective impact puts community first because organizations create a common agenda to align on goals that best serve the needs of the whole community, rather than multiple solutions working independently.

Accomplish More Together

Two heads are better than one! Organizations uniting rather than working individually can accomplish so much more. Having a support system is a valuable tool for accomplishing goals. Having shared goals and a team fighting for the same mission provides that extra motivation individuals need to work harder and stay focused. Working together with other non-profit organizations can also help organizations gain more funding through collaborative grants.

Stay Accountable

Working on a shared initiative also holds participants accountable. The idea of collective impact opens lines of communication and embraces unity. When acting in alignment with the collective impact framework, organizations are measuring and monitoring the same metrics to track progress on their initiative. This shared measurement system emphasizes the importance of staying accountable. Having a case management software with robust reporting capabilities is useful to tracking and monitoring shared goals.

How Pieces Connect encourages collective impact

An effective case management software encourages collective impact. Having the right tool is beneficial for organizations staying on track and meeting the five conditions of collective impact. Organizations need a case management tool that helps make life easier for those using it, so that they can improve the lives of those they are helping. 

Pieces Connect is a cloud-based case management software that helps connect non-profits across the community and improve the life of individuals in need. It streamlines workflows and reduces manual effort for non-profit organizations. Pieces Connect makes it easy for organizations to refer their clients to other organizations in the community to ensure they are getting the extra support they need. Being able to easily make referrals, helps increase communication between organizations and encourages activities that help meet a shared set goal. With an 82% closed-loop referral rate, users know that clients are getting the help they need. Pieces Connect also has reporting capabilities that allow organizations to track and monitor their impact on the community.

The Pieces Connect Community Outreach team is also making strides to engage in collective impact efforts across communities. Pieces understands the importance of coming alongside community organizations doing this great work to support and be a resource.  Collective impact coalitions such as the Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions and the Greater Houston Coalition for Social Determinants of Health are just a few of the collaboratives Pieces has aligned with. Pieces will continue to join in the fight to solve complex health and social issues across communities.