The Collective Impact model

a group of people with lots of colourful knit jumpers on have put their hands all together in the spirit of teamwork.
  • PDF
  • Video
  • Reference

Last updated

18th August 2023

Share this resource

Collective Impact is a framework for collaboration that engages communities, sectors and groups in place-based settings to address a complex social issue. And ultimately create social change.  

It’s based on the idea that in order to address social impact, a complex and systematic approach to improve inequity is needed (1). It was first coined by Kania and Kramer (2011), who developed the framework, consisting of 5 elements aimed at creating population change on complex social issues. It has grown in popularity and been described as a “distillation” of existing knowledge and wisdom to guide collaboration (2). 

quote mark

This non-competitive funding model has given us the breathing room to connect with our community and our arts industry peers. Our organisations are stronger together, meaning community comes first

Arty Owens, Arts Access Victoria
quote mark
quote mark

It has been really lovely going through the process with a group of arts organisations, knowing that people from those organisations are ready and willing to advise us on aspects of our project, and connect us to young people in their own communities.

Aarti Desai, The Push
quote mark
quote mark

As a young person being introduced to the Future Reset model, it offered me enough space and freedom for our organisation to dream, connect and change the future of underrepresented communities in the music industry.

Mon Franco, The Push
quote mark
quote mark

...the collective impact model has created a blueprint for what young people in creative leadership positions can look like. Through collective discussion, debate & support, each member of the collective can feel confident and autonomous in their work... The collective impact model has created space for transparency, where each concern is intently listened to & supported by others

Nickila De Silva, Next Wave
quote mark
quote mark

The Future Reset model unifies the arts, so that together we can build equitable and meaningful programs for young people

Arty Owens, Arts Access Victoria
quote mark

1. A common agenda

All of the stakeholders within a collective impact project must have a shared vision for the social issue they are addressing (1, 3). 

2. Continuous communication

Trust is key. And the only way to build trust is through open communication and genuine collaboration. This should involve regular meetings between high level leaders in the sector (1, 3). 

3. Backbone support organisation

The backbone organisation needs the skills and resources to keep all the collaborative work on track. They’re responsible for providing strategic direction, facilitating stakeholder communication, monitoring data collection and analysis, overseeing funding and coordinating with communities. (4). 

4. Mutually reinforcing activities

Stakeholders’ actions need to have a shared plan for mutually reinforcing activities that all contribute to the same goal (1). 

5. Shared measurement

It is important that stakeholders develop a set of shared indicators to assess the progress of the collective impact initiative. Evaluating these indicators through regular meetings with stakeholders can help refine the strategy of the project. The backbone organisation can play a key role in enabling the indicators or providing training and support for data collection methods (4). 

Learn more about Future Reset, our collective impact inspired model,  and meet our creative collective organisations 


  1. Kania, J., & Kramer, M. (2011). Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 9(1), 36-41.  

  2. Cabaj, M., & Weaver, L. (2016). Collective Impact 3.0: An evolving framework for community change. Canada: Tamarack Institute. 

  3. Preskill, H., Parkhurst, M, & Splansky Juster, J. (2014). Guide to evaluating collective impact: 01 Learning and evaluation in the collective impact context. Collective Impact Forum.  

  4. Hanleybrown, F., Kania, J., & Kramer, M. (2012). Channeling change: Making collective impact work. Stanford Social Innovation Review