collective impact

Collective Impact is a framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organizations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change.

John Kania & Mark Kramer first wrote about collective impact in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2011 and identified five key elements:


  1. collective-impactAll participants have a common agenda for change including a shared understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.
  2. Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all the participants ensures shared measurement for alignment and accountability.
  3. A plan of action that outlines and coordinates mutually reinforcing activities for each participant.
  4. Open and continuous communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
  5. backbone organization with staff and specific set of skills to serve the entire initiative and coordinate participating organizations and agencies.

“… we believe that there is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against the urgent and complex problems of our time, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.”

– John Kania & Mark Kramer





#HarfordCountyGives arose from the desire to create and test a Collaborative Impact infrastructure and reporting mechanism with a simple project:  Help Harford nonprofits optimize their efforts for fundraising and finding volunteers, mobilize local businesses and individuals to support causes that resonate with them, and create a mechanism to quantify that support.

#HarfordCountyGives is a “#GivingTuesday” type of movement that engages our neighbors, local nonprofits and businesses all year round.

More about #HarfordCountyGives >