Collective Impact



Collective Impact

One of the biggest challenges facing community change leaders is impacting systems and policies to improve the well-being of citizens.  Over the last twenty years, community change leaders have engaged in single and cross-sector collaboration to begin to uncover and address some of the largest challenges they are facing like poverty, homelessness, educational attainment and environmental impact.  In 2011, FSG in the United States defined an approach to community change called Collective Impact. 

The Collective Impact framework contains five core conditions including the development of a common agenda; using shared measurement to understand progress; building on mutually reinforcing activities; engaging in continuous communications and providing a backbone to move the work forward. 

Since 2011, Tamarack has collaborated with colleagues in Canada, the United States and internationally as a co-catalyst in advancing Collective Impact as a framework for community change.  Tamarack also recognizes that Collective Impact is one mechanism for community change and that collaboration takes many forms and approaches.  The Collective Impact idea provides a useful framework for community change and is situated within the broad frame of collaborative efforts focused on systems and policy change.  Tamarack actively works with collaborators including the Collective Impact Forum and the Harwood Institute in the United States; Inspiring Communities in New Zealand and Collaboration for Impact in Australia to intentionally build the field of practice in Collective Impact and collaborative community change efforts. 

Interconnected  Circle Designs

Foundations of Collective Impact Course

This online course is designed to help you learn at your own pace to develop your own Collective Impact plan.


Register for the Online Course

Getting Started

350 x 210px - Interconnected Practices - Getting Started-1

Empathy Map

This tool helps you consider the perspectives of those who your project serves or affects. It will help your team consider the many forces around your users that affect their experiences.

stakeholder writing brainstorming

Stakeholder Engagement Wheel

This tool will help guide a conversation with others as to what their desired level of involvement is in the opportunities and work of your group going forward.


Collective Impact Year One Action Plan Framework

This framework provides you with an in-depth look at what it is that you are trying to work on.  The tool is comprised of questions that will help you to form your collective Impact initiative.  You will use this framework to build your leadership team and to create an action plan.  

350 x 210px - Interconnected Practices - Getting Started (1)

Planning Your Backbone Support

This tool helps provide members with an overview of the key framework, decisions, and progress that has been made on Collective Impact initiatives.

Featured Resources 

325 x 200 - Featured Resources Images  (1)-1

How Field Catalysts Accelerate Collective Impact

The efforts of individual collective impact initiatives are strengthened when they are linked and loosely coordinated to advance systems change. Collective Impact initiatives that include systems change strategies demonstrate a capability to generate and scale solutions that successfully disrupt, and ultimately transform, the status quo. This is much more likely to happen with the support of a unique form of intermediary organization known as a field catalyst.

325 x 200 - Collective Impact 1

Turf, Trust, Co-Creation and Collective Impact 

Authentic community change moves at the speed of trust. And yet, we spend so little time and focus on intentionally building trust amongst partners. This paper explores the intricacies of trust, how to build it and what to do when trust is broken.

It includes stories, research, and a plethora of helpful tips to equip you and your colleagues to focus on building trust with each other and with your partners.

325 x 200 - Collective Impact 2

Collective Impact 3.0

Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver put forward fresh thinking around five ways to build the next iteration of the Collective Impact Framework with their publication Collective Impact 3.0 - An Evolving Framework for Community Change.

Meet the Director

Sylvia is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Collective Impact Idea Area. She is passionate about community change and what becomes possible when residents and various sector leaders share an aspirational vision for their future.

Learn more about Sylvia

Book a 15-minute session with Sylvia


Current Collective Impact Theme Being Explored:

  • Lessons in Adapting Collective Impact for a COVID and Post-COVID world

I am exploring the following questions: what are the unique challenges and opportunities that Collective Impact Initiatives face as they confront the need to adapt their strategies in response to the changing realities of their communities? Are there examples of this that can be celebrated? What resources and examples can be profiled to illustrate this?

  • Aligning Collective Impact - Leverage Intersectionality & Cross-Scale Connections

I am specifically interested in finding and profiling specific examples of how CI initiates are aligning with and leveraging parallel movements to support the addressing of root issues

  • Exploring the Challenges & Opportunities of CI for Carious Sectors/Perspectives

I am interested in finding and profiling Collective Impact champions/leaders rooted in various sectors to highlight some of the unique benefits and challenges of Collective Impact from various sector perspectives.