What Is Collective Impact?


Collective Impact

A child’s health and well-being is much more than the absence of illness. So many issues affect a child’s health: financial security, health literacy, education, housing, crime, stress and toxic environmental factors, such as air quality. That's why we take a "collective impact" approach to achieve our goals. This means we involve members across sectors and have a clearly defined goal, and our activities are aligned and coordinated so that we make progress at scale.

The Alliance’s broad community-engagement strategy allows us to push for change not only in healthcare settings but also in the community as a whole. This includes the availability of safe housing, social networks and support systems, nutritious food, quality clinical care, cultural influences and physical environments of our homes, schools and neighborhoods. Investing in these upstream sources of health will improve the health and well-being of our children in a sustainable way.

Conditions for collective impact: 

  • A common agenda (PDF) (This is the common agenda for the Dallas asthma initiative)
  • Shared measurement
  • Mutually reinforcing activities among participants
  • Continuous communication
  • A "backbone organization," which coordinates the activities of members

The Alliance's backbone team assists the Alliance by orchestrating work in a structured way to achieve and sustain social change.

Learn more about collective impact initiatives:

A Playbook for Social Change
that Actually Works

The Health and Wellness Alliance for Children and Children’s Health have created this hands-on Playbook to share our experiences from the trenches of social and health transformation in Dallas. We aim to impact lasting quality of life and health improvements for the children and families of our community through an organizational model known as Collective Impact.

We want to help define in “real-life” terms what Collective Impact initiatives really are and how they can result in lasting social and economic change, with measurable downstream health improvements for families and children — at scale.

This proven approach can work for you and your community and can be led by local government, health care systems and a broad array of nonprofit and faith-based organizations. We share the needs, the challenges and the measurable “wins” that we have experienced first-hand with our work in the Dallas area.

Our hope is that by sharing our experiences, with three unique initiatives, we can help accelerate the learning curve that comes with forming Collective Impact initiatives. In this Playbook, you will find not only the philosophy behind the Collective Impact approach and the primary concepts associated with it, but you’ll get an inside look into three hyper-local case studies from our experiences in Dallas.

Collective Impact Playbook: Phase 1 Cover


Download the Collective Impact Playbook