Beyond Collective Impact: Moving to Community and Systems Change Collaboration

Communities Joined in Action Webinar
Wednesday, July 13
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tom Wolff, Ph.D.,Tom Wolff and Associates
Arthur T. Himmelman – Himmelman Consulting
Kevin Barnett, DrPH, Public Health Institute (Moderator)

The introduction of the concept of Collective Impact (CI) by FSG, a global nonprofit consulting group, has generated immense interest and adoption by nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations across the country. CI’s model introduces five essential elements, including a strong emphasis on funding what it calls a “backbone” organization to support the organizational and administrative functions of CI partnerships. While CI is producing some valuable results in many communities, there are growing concerns about a failure to address an array of complex issues identified by other community leaders, practitioners, and academicians over decades. This webinar will provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the CI model and will draw attention to other models for community and systems change collaboration focused on racial equity, community empowerment, and social justice.

We’re fortunate to have two speakers who are widely recognized for their expertise in community and systems change collaboration. Tom Wolff, author of many community change publications and the book, The Power of Collaborative Solutions, recently published an article in the Non Profit Quarterly that will provide some advance reflection about some of the challenges in the CI model. Arthur T. Himmelman will offer perspectives on collaborative change drawn from 30 years as a national consultant in this work – see They will reflect on approaches addressing the power imbalances that undermine many partnership efforts; ways to better ensure that partnership resources can engage communities where social, economic, political, and health inequities are concentrated; and change practices that can improve the CI model.

We’ll start the webinar by sharing your input, then our speakers will offer initial comments and insights, share tools and resources, and then we’ll open it up for further dialogue. The advance questions include:

What do you know of CI?
What have been your experiences with CI?
What questions do you have about CI?
Why do you think funders and gov’t adopted this model?
What are your reactions to the NPQ article?
What do you think is most critical in your coalition building work?

With your meaningful engagement in this interactive webinar, we’ll meet the larger goal of advancing our collective thinking and making a difference in our communities.

Click here to download the presentation Powerpoint.

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