Exploring the Importance of Sustainability and Resilience for Collaborative Work: A Tamarack Institute 10 Guide

Posted on January 12, 2023
By Mike Des Jardins
Is your collaborative grappling to understand what sustainability and resilience means to your work … and what needs to be sustained or nurtured?

Or perhaps you are exploring what strategies or systems changes your collaborative wants to sustain? Maybe, you want to better understand how to build a strong and healthy collaboration?

10: A Guide for Building a Sustainable and Resilient CollaborationThe Tamarack Institute, as part of the work of Communities Building Youth Futures, has developed 10: A Guide for Building a Sustainable and Resilient Collaboration to unpack the concepts of sustainability and resilience and share ideas, stories and resources that will benefit collaborations as they consider them.

Sustainability involves many factors, including leadership, funding, community engagement, and the ability to influence policy and systems that lead to program or a collective impact. These factors fall under four main categories of people, resources, process, and impact.

Resilience is about building a collaboration’s capacity to shift, adapt, and change, and is also focused on the overall health and well-being of the collaboration and the community.

Sustaining cross-sector collaboratives and the strategies they design is work that everyone who supports the collaborative must share. This resource is for anyone connected to a collaborative effort including individual members of a collaborative table, members and backbone leaders connected to a Collective Impact initiative, investors and funders of collaborative efforts, board members who hold governance authority related to members of a collaboration, and individuals who are simply curious about collaboration.

The guide has been designed to broaden our collective thinking about the factors that contribute to sustainable, resilient, and impactful collaboration. You will find sections that:

Group of people collaborating at a meeting
  • define the key terms;
  • explore the factors relevant to creating a sustainable collaboration and the practices that build resiliency in collaborations;
  • provide ideas and resources that will supplement thinking and action;
  • explore questions for funders and collaboration tables to consider; and
  • share community stories about collaboration efforts and the lessons they have learned tied to their sustainability and resilience.


Deepen Your Learning:

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Mike Des Jardins

By Mike Des Jardins

Mike is the Manager of Sustainability & Development for Communities Building Youth Futures. In this role, Mike is responsible for sustainability planning, researching and sharing best practices related to the sustainability and resilience of youth collective impact work, coaching CBYF communities on developing and implementing sustainability strategies, and measuring the impact and telling the story of social return on investment.

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