central arizona project

Research Friday: The Real Impact of Collective Impact

posted by
Brian Spicker,
Senior Vice President
of Community Impact
Valley of the Sun
United Way


Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. This week, Brian Spicker of Valley of the Sun United Way sat down the with Center's Stephanie La Loggia for a short interview about the meaning of "collective impact." Below is part of the interview.

In Kania and Kramer’s article[1], they discuss the key elements to successful collective impact. Can you talk a little about those key elements?

Brian Spicker: What's wonderful about that article is it’s something I think all of us in the social sector have been working on, they just happened to present it elegantly. But those five elements are: a common agenda. So everyone understands the language, what it is what we’re intending to do, and it’s tied then to metrics, that it’s a shared metric system. So, that’s the second element. The third element, which is really critical, is mutually reinforcing activities. So you have a variety of nonprofits, government, and philanthropic organizations working together — they are doing their own things, but it’s mutually reinforcing that common agenda, it is tying those things together. And showing that it's moving the needle, the metric, forward.