On August 1st, the United Way of Broome County hosted FSG, a non-profit consulting group, who talked to the community about Collective Impact. FSG describes Collective Impact as “a process where organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success.”
The United Way of Broome County is using this framework as the basis for its county-wide anti-poverty initiative so that organizations involved with that initiative can work as one to come up with short and long-term solutions to address poverty in our community.
The morning started with community members and organizations learning the basics of collective impact to get a better understanding of the concept and how it relates to Broome County. Together, we learned that there needs to be a common agenda, meaning they need to target the problem and work together to find a way to solve it. There also needs to be a common measurement system so that there can be continuous improvement. It is a mutual effort and everyone must work together to get the best end result. It also encourages continuous communication. All if this is supported by a strong team dedicated to leading the way and keeping the goal on track.
In the second half of the day, we dove deeper into what collective impact is and learned how to apply it. Our common agenda was to reduce the number of people living in poverty in Broome County. We created a trend map and everyone thought of trends in the area causing poverty and trends that are helping to stop the problem. On these maps we put together everyone’s thoughts and combined ideas that went together. This got everyone talking and allowed people to think about ways poverty can be reduced.
The trainings allowed for community members to voice their opinions and have a chance for community leaders to hear what they have to say. It also helped members of BBAPI and the steering committee better understand how they can come together in a more effective way to reduce poverty.
For more information on collective impact, visit www.fsg.org/ideas-in-action/collective-impact