collective impact

The Forsyth Promise aligns closely with the StriveTogether Collective Impact approach, using data to continuously improve practices overtime, advocating for what works locally, and spreading best practices across programs and systems.

Perhaps most importantly, the “collective impact” approach does not seek to add another layer of activity on top of what we already do; rather, this mindset becomes integrated into what we do day in and day out in our respective organizations and across our community to achieve positive outcomes for Forsyth County’s children.

A primary component of the collective impact approach is having dedicated staff who support the day-to-day work of The Forsyth Promise and help move its agenda forward. To that end, the United Way of Forsyth County agreed to serve as the fiscal and administrative agent for The Forsyth Promise, while Forsyth Futures serves as its primary research and data management partner.

Below are the five conditions for collective impact:

  • Common Agenda — all participants have a shared vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions
  • Shared Measurement Systems — agreement on the ways success will be measured and reported. Ensures all efforts are aligned, enables participants to hold each other accountable, and affords the opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and failures
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities — coordination of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action. Each network is free to chart its own course consistent with the common agenda and informed by shared measurement of results
  • Continuous Communication — developing trust, holding regular meetings, creating a common vocabulary
  • Backbone Support Organizations — separate organization and staff with very specific set of skills; dedicated staff who can plan, manage and support the initiative through ongoing facilitation, technology and communications support, data collection and reporting and administrative details; project manager, data manager and facilitator
Collective impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success.