Collective Impact

Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors
to a common agenda for solving complex social problem.

~ J. Kania, M. Kramer (Winter 2011)

Eastside Pathways is a member of StriveTogether, a national network of 70 community partnerships that use the principle of Collective Impact framework as the way to effect deep, long-lasting systemic change to support local education systems.

The approach is based on individual responsibility and collective accountability, using data to drive actions and decision-making and focusing on continuous improvement.

The nature of collective impact is that we develop solutions together. It is challenging and requires partners to constantly examine their work and make a commitment to stay at the table.

We believe this approach of working together and focusing on every point on the continuum from cradle to career is our community’s best chance to support all children.

Our work is guided by the StriveTogether Theory of Action, which lays out quality benchmarks towards achieving broad-scale and lasting systems change.

The Criteria

Common Agenda

We mobilize our entire community to support every child, step by step, from cradle to career. Our goals include academic and health outcomes along the age continuum, including early literacy, high school graduation, and mental health.

Shared Measurement

Our partner organizations agree to work toward making progress on the identified core indicators. Some of these indicators include:

  • Percent of kindergartners meeting age-level expectations
  • Percent of 3rd grade students reading at grade level
  • Percent of students who earn a postsecondary credential within six years of high school graduation

We release a community report, annually, to inform our partners and other stakeholders about the progress we have made on these indicators.

Mutually Reinforced Activities

We bring partner organizations together from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. They participate in collaboratives, like School Readiness or Career Pathways, where they continue to work in their area of expertise and have the chance to connect with other organizations to make a greater impact for kids.

Continuous Communication

We use different channels of communication to ensure that our partners stay up-to-date about our work and outcomes. The Board and the Partner Leadership Committee meet every month. We host three All-Partner Meetings every year for the executive-level staff of partner organizations and quarterly “Eastside Pathways 101” events to introduce the organization to new and potential partners/supporters. Our newsletters and social media channels share our news as well as partner and community events and happenings.

Backbone Support

The Eastside Pathways backbone organization is a small nonprofit which exists solely to support the partnership. The role of the backbone includes convening and facilitating, data collection and reporting, communications, community outreach, and logistical and administrative support. The backbone is comprised of a small paid staff and a group of committed community volunteers, and it is governed by a board of directors.


Learn more about the collective impact framework and its impact through these informative articles.

Collective Impact (Kania and Kramer, 2011)the original article that sparked the creation of the Eastside Pathways Partnership. Download the PDF

Why Communities of Color are Getting Frustrated with Collective Impact (Le, 2015) – Shrewd and entertaining analysis from local nonprofit rock star blogger Vu Le. This post sparked a national discussion and some thoughtful responses.

Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact (Kania et el, 2014) – A succinct explanation of how collective impact requires us to think and act differently.

Equity and Collective Impact (multiple authors, 2015) – A three-part series on why equity must be an explicit focus if we hope to succeed.

Collective Insights on Collective Impact (multiple authors, 2014) – a collection of articles from different perspectives based on experience putting the model into practice.

The nature of collective impact is that we develop solutions together.