The range of comprehensive supports and academic services that youth benefit from in multiple pathways models reach across agencies, systems, sectors and providers. Also, multiple providers in communities, each with different missions and strengths in serving youth, often provide many of the same services to the same population, creating redundancy. Implementation of a collective impact approach avoids duplication of efforts, allows community-wide resource sharing and enables systems to maintain a more comprehensive understanding of how needs are met. Collective impact is defined as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem”. This is distinct from collaboration in that collaboration convenes around programs and initiatives and collective impact efforts work together to move outcomes. The Community Foundation brings the full complement of its community impact strategies – strategic grantmaking, leveraging resources, convening, commissioning research, donor education and engagement, technical assistance and advising and advocate for our community— to bear on implementing sustainable collective impact approaches in jurisdictions within our footprint.
Our Connecting Youth to Opportunity investments include:
District of Columbia: The Community Foundation serves as the backbone organization for Raise DC, the public/private partnership formed to promote a culture shift from competition over District resources to collaboration, in providing every youth with opportunities to succeed from cradle to career. Raise DC convenes and connects leaders from across sectors, uses data to guide practice, advocates for positive policies, and defines ways to repurpose existing time, talent, and treasure to advance efforts that produce results. In addition, we serve as the co-conveners of two of the Raise DC Change Networks – Disconnected Youth and Youth Employment. To learn more about Raise DC, go to www.raisedc.net.
Prince George’s County: The Community Foundation focuses on increasing community engagement in public education reform through creating venues for thought-leaders and other stakeholders to discuss, dissect, and educate and generate ideas and action around critical issues facing the public education. In addition, we seek to leverage partnerships that will strengthen the public education infrastructure in the County. Our most recent convening, Parent Town Hall: Expanding Quality Afterschool Options in Prince George’s County sought to educate a group of multi-sector stakeholders and parents on important context and data about quality and after school programs at the local, state, and national level and explore and discover strategies to foster a more “coordinated system” of high quality after school programs for all Prince George’s County students. Read more from one of our participants here. The Community Foundation will continue to engage the necessary stakeholders to create action around recommendations resulting from our convening.