Cradle to Career believes in the power of Collective Impact—the idea that organizations can make a greater difference working together rather than alone. We facilitate the collective work of multiple organizations coming together around one specific outcome in order to improve it.
Four Elements to our Collective Impact Framework
- Shared Community Vision: All participants have a shared vision for change, as well as a common understanding of the problem and how they will work collectively to solve it.
- Evidence-Based Decision Making: Partnerships make decisions based on local data that shows areas of need and promising practices that are already working for kids.
- Collaborative Action: Community members come together to use data to move outcomes.
- Investment and Sustainability: Partnerships initiate or redirect resources (time, talent and treasure) toward data-based practices on an ongoing basis, and engage the community to ensure long-term sustainability.
Doing the Work with Change Networks
Change Networks are how the work of collective impact gets done. Cradle to Career forms Change Networks specifically to focus on one community outcome. Partner organizations who commit to following a Continuous Improvement process to guide their work join the Change Network. Partners come together to focus at the same time on a specific outcome and to take action together around it, which is known as collaborative action. They develop a charter to frame their work, develop an action plan to guide their steps, and meet regularly to report on their progress. These actions happen within organizations as well as cross-organizationally. It is also possible for networks to develop projects and campaigns in which the entire partnership can take part.
Here is the process they undergo:
- Focus on improving a specific community level indicator
- Prioritize local data to identify area of need and promising practices
- Identify shared action to move the needle on a community level indicator
- Develop a charter and action plan to implement identified shared action
Cradle to Career Change Networks
Currently, we have two active change networks: Kindergarten Readiness and Opportunity Youth Re-Engagement. We are in process to develop a third change network: Eighth Grade Math Proficiency. To find out more about the work a network is undertaking, click on each respective network in the What We Do dropdown menu.
StriveTogether Theory of Action
As a member of the StriveTogether network, Cradle to Career operates within the theory of action designed and supported by StriveTogether. The theory of action has five gateways: exploring, emerging, sustaining, systems change and proof point. Our partnership is in the sustaining gateway, a designation granted by StriveTogether upon completion of a rigorous assessment of necessary community infrastructure to achieve results at scale.
StriveTogether Framework Overview
Watch this video by Jeff Edmondson, the founder of the Strive Partnership and the national StriveTogether network, to learn more about how this framework is implemented.
Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR): Collective Impact
SSIR is an award-winning magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems, written by and for social change leaders from around the world.