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Boston | Geneva | Mumbai | San Francisco | Seattle | Washington FSG.ORG Session for: Collective Impact: Backbone Organizations October 8, 2012 CMF / MNA Conference
FSG.ORG 2 © 2012 FSG FSG Overview Nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation and research with offices in Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, DC, Geneva, and Mumbai Partner with foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and governments to develop more effective solutions to the world’s most challenging issues Recognized thought leader in social impact, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility Staff of 100 full-time professionals with passion and experience to solve social problems Advancing Collective Impact via publications, conferences, speaking engagements, client projects FSG Overview
FSG.ORG 3 © 2012 FSG FSG Is Playing a Leadership Role in Accelerating Collective Impact Approaches to Solving Large-Scale Social Problems FSG and Collective Impact Client work in Collective Impact: FSG understands how to enable and sustain cross-sector partnerships through our work with clients in the following sectors: FSG articles paved the way for Collective Impact: ‒ Leading Boldly (2004) ‒ Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement (2008) ‒ Catalytic Philanthropy (2009) ‒ Collective Impact (2011) ‒ Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work (2012) ‒ Economic development ‒ Education reform ‒ Environmental sustainability ‒ Juvenile justice ‒ Teen substance abuse ‒ Public health
FSG.ORG 4 © 2012 FSG There Are Several Types of Problems Source: Adapted from “Getting to Maybe” Simple Baking a Cake Sending a Rocket to the Moon Complicated The social sector often treats problems as simple or complicated Complex Raising a Child Introduction to Collective Impact
FSG.ORG 5 © 2012 FSG Traditional Approaches Are Not Solving Our Toughest—Often Complex—Challenges Funders select individual grantees Organizations work separately and compete Evaluation attempts to isolate a particular organization’s impact Large scale change is assumed to depend on scaling organizations Corporate and government sectors are often disconnected from foundations and nonprofits Isolated Impact Introduction to Collective Impact Source: Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, 2012; FSG Interviews and Analysis
FSG.ORG 6 © 2012 FSG Imagine a Different Approach—Multiple Players Working Together to Solve Complex Issues All working toward the same goal and measuring the same things Cross-sector alignment with government, nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate sectors as partners Organizations actively coordinating their action and sharing lessons learned Isolated ImpactCollective Impact Collective Impact recognizes that no single organization is responsible for a major social problem, so no single organization can cure it Introduction to Collective Impact Source: Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, 2012; FSG Interviews and Analysis
FSG.ORG 7 © 2012 FSG Achieving Large-Scale Change through Collective Impact Involves Five Key Elements Common Agenda Common understanding of the problem Shared vision for change Shared Measurement Collecting data and measuring results Focus on performance management Shared accountability Mutually Reinforcing Activities Differentiated approaches Coordination through joint plan of action Continuous Communication Consistent and open communication Focus on building trust Backbone Support Separate organization(s) with staff Resources and skills to convene and coordinate participating organizations Source: Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, 2012; FSG Interviews and Analysis Five Elements of Collective Impact
FSG.ORG 8 © 2012 FSG The Collective Impact Approach Can Apply to Solving Many Complex Social Issues Education Health Economic Development Youth Development Homelessness Community Development * * * * * Indicates FSG Client CI across Issue Areas
FSG.ORG 9 © 2012 FSG Collective Impact Is Best Structured with Cascading Levels of Collaboration, with the Backbone Playing a Critical Role Shared Measures Backbone Governance, Vision and Strategy Action Planning Implementation Public Will Common Agenda Steering Committee Community Members Partners Working Groups Implementing Collective Impact Source: FSG Interviews and Analysis
FSG.ORG 10 © 2012 FSG The Role of Backbone Organizations Is Often Described with a Metaphor… It Is Not Always Easy to See the Value of Backbone Organizations’ Work “(They are) kind of like the quarterback—doesn’t end up in the end zone, but they’re the ones handing it off, making a pass or calling a different play if the defense looks different.” “I’m at a lot of events with people in the know who don’t understand what these backbones do. But they are doing what they are supposed to do—the work behind the scenes. They both fill a role that, if it weren’t for them, no one would be pushing certain items.” “They are an umbrella that can say, ‘this is an issue, let’s address it together.’” “They serve as the voice for early care and education and bringing issues to the tables to funders that may not otherwise be heard.” “(The backbone) has also formed a bridge between early childhood agencies, corporate leaders, and funders.” Source: FSG interviews Key Learning
FSG.ORG 11 © 2012 FSG Partners Initiative Community Effective Backbone Organization Leadership Is Critical to Collective Impact Success Why we collectively are taking action (Needs / Assumptions and Goals) What we are doing to address the issue (Activities) Early indications that our activities will lead to change (Backbone Outcomes) The change we collectively hope to see if we are successful (Initiative Outcomes) Theory of Change Isolated Impact Guide Vision Support Alignment Shared Measurement Build Public Will Advance Policy Mobilize Funding
FSG.ORG 12 © 2012 FSG Backbone Organizations Come in a Variety of Types * These skills can exist within a single organization or within another organization in the effort Source: Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, 2012; FSG Interviews and Analysis Types of Organizations That Could Serve as Backbones Funders New or Existing Non-Profits Government Agencies and Other Intermediaries Multi- Organization Initiatives Strong and Adaptive Leadership Sustained Funding and Resources Core Requirements to be a Successful Backbone Organization* High Credibility in the Community Dedicated Staff Ability to Be a Neutral Convener Private Sector Backbone Organizations
FSG.ORG 13 © 2012 FSG Backbone Organizations Are Critical to Any Collective Impact Effort—And They Perform Six Major Functions Backbones must balance the tension between coordinating and maintaining accountability, while staying behind the scenes to establish collective ownership Guide Vision and Strategy Build Public Will Support Aligned Activities Mobilize Funding Establish Shared Measurement Practices Advance Policy Backbone Organizations Build a common understanding of the problem Provide strategic guidance to develop a common agenda Convene key external stakeholders to do mutually reinforcing activities Facilitate communication and collaboration Catalyze or incubate new initiatives Collect, analyze, interpret, and report data Catalyze or develop shared measurement systems Provide technical assistance for building partners’ data capacity Build public will, consensus, and commitment Create a sense of urgency and articulate a call to action Support community member engagement activities Advocate for an aligned policy agenda Mobilize and align both public and private funding to support goals Source: FSG Interviews and Analysis
FSG.ORG 14 © 2012 FSG Among Different Backbone Organizations, Organization-Specific Challenges Add Nuance Key Learning Phase of Collective Impact Initiative Organizational Capacity Scope of the Vision and Strategy and / or Geographic Reach Organizational Structure/ Parent Organizations Phase I Initiate Action Phase II Organize for Impact Phase III Sustain Action & Impact Among the backbone organizations… $$$ Vs.
15 © 2012 FSG FSG.ORG Backbones Typically Require At Least Three Key Staff Positions Project DirectorData ManagerFacilitator(s) Leadership Oversees effort Advises Steering Committee Manages accountabilityManages working groups/networks Communication Reports data Shares data for use Connects working groups/networks Critical Thinking Addresses complex issues Planning Leads vision, goal, strategy setting Plans data collection, data sharing Aligns partners to implement Embracing Change Champions change at senior level Provides data to help change occur Champions change in groups Teamwork Listens, reinforces senior collaboration Partners with data providers Helps community partners align Source: Adapted from Strive Network Illustration of a Backbone Structure: Backbone Organizations
16 © 2012 FSG FSG.ORG Every Backbone Needs Funding for its Activities; a Backbone Organization Likely Requires an Annual Budget of ~$3-400K Expense CategoryBudget ($)Description Salaries80,0001 FTE Executive Director 55,0001 FTE Facilitator 65,0001 FTE Data Manager 25,000.5 FTE Administrative Support Benefits45,000At 20% of salaries Professional Fees90,000Consultants, R&E, Web Travel and Meetings16,000Workshops, events, retreat Communications45,000Reports, collateral, media Technology0In kind hardware, software, IT Office3,650In kind/paid rent, utilities, supplies Other1,000Staff training, miscellaneous Total Expenses425,650Covered by grants and fees Source: Adapted from Strive Network Illustration of a Backbone’s Budget: Backbone Organizations
FSG.ORG 17 © 2012 FSG Effective Backbone Leaders Share Common Characteristics Source: FSG interviews Key Learning Stakeholders describe backbone organization leaders as: Visionary Results-Oriented Collaborative, Relationship Builder Focused, but Adaptive Charismatic and Influential Communicator Politic Humble “Someone who has a big picture perspective—[who] understands how the pieces fit together, is sensitive to the dynamics, and is energetic and passionate.”
FSG.ORG 18 © 2012 FSG In Small Groups, We Will Discuss the Collective Impact Model and the Role of the Backbone Organization Discussion Questions What do you see as the benefits to the community in taking a collective impact approach? In your table’s topic area, what challenges exist that prevent the community from being able to make progress in this area? What role does the backbone organization play in advancing work in this topic area? What should happen next? Given your role in the sector, how do you participate? Group Discussion
FSG.ORG 19 © 2012 FSG Thank You! To talk more with FSG about Collective Impact: John Kania Collective Impact resources available on FSG’s website:
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