Collective Impact Strategies: Introduction to the Special Issue

  • Joseph Allen University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Kelly Prange University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Sheridan Trent University of Nebraska at Omaha

Abstract

The societal and cultural issues facing humanity are far greater than any nonprofit, for-profit, university, or government agency to address adequately alone. Whether poverty, water shortages, socio-economic inequality, natural disasters with lasting effects, or any number of other challenges facing our communities, organizations must band together to secure the impact needed to truly create change.

Increasingly, communities are turning to collective impact as an approach that brings together the collective resources of multiple institutions to address a community-identified problem or need. While a somewhat new approach, there is a growing body of evidence of supporting the effectiveness of using the collective impact approach to addressing wicked problems (Bridgeland et al., 2012; Christens and Inzeo, 2015; Kania, Hanleybrown, and Splansky Juster, 2014).

As anchor institutions, Metropolitan Universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to initiate and promote social change in a way that also advances their mission. Unlike other institutions for higher education, Metropolitan Universities are most suited for targeting social change because of the type of communities they serve and their location within large municipalities. Participating in collective impact is increasingly seen as one approach to this. This issue includes case studies and practical papers to prepare Metropolitan University administrators, faculty, and staff to initiate, facilitate, and strengthen collective impact initiatives in their communities.

Author Biographies

Joseph Allen, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Joseph A. Allen is an Associate Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He directs the Center for Applied Psychological Services, the Volunteer Program Assessment, the Center for Meeting Effectiveness, and the Community Engagement Research Center at UNO. He co-chaired the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities Conference in 2015, guest edited the conference issue that year, and recently served as the program chair for the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference in 2016. His consulting work includes more than 300 nonprofit and for-profit organizations, with particular emphasis on identifying and recruiting employees and volunteers.  His scholarly works include more than 100 total publications in peer review journals, book chapters, and books. He also the editor of a forthcoming volume entitled, The Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Community Engagement and Outreach.

Kelly Prange, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kelly A. Prange is a doctoral student studying Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is pursuing research interests within the realms of collective impact, social responsibility, and community engagement. She is also the Assistant Director of Operation at the Volunteer Program Assessment at UNO and published her work in the Metropolitan Universities Journal concerning collective impact.

Sheridan Trent, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Sheridan B. Trent is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, studying Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Her research interests include nonprofit management, community engagement, and volunteerism. She is also the Assistant Director for Research at the Volunteer Program Assessment at UNO.

References

Bridgeland, J., et al. Zimpher, N. (2012). Rountable on collective impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review 25-29.

Christens, B. D. and Inzeo P. T. (2015). Widening the view: Situating collective impact among frameworks for community-led change. Community Development, 1-13. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8427-3668

Irby, M. and Boyle, P. (2014). Aligning collective impact initiatives. Stanford Social Innovation Review 15-16.

Kania, J., Hanleybrown, F., and Splansky Juster, J. (2014). Essential mindset shifts for collective impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review 2-5.

Kania, J., and Kramer, M. (2011). Collective impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review 36-41.

Prange, K. A., Allen, J. A., and Reiter-Palmon, R. (2016). Collective impact versus collaboration: Sides of the same coin or different phenomenon? Metropolitan Universities Journal 27 (1), 86-96.

Published
2017-11-29