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2 Pernicious Misconceptions about Stakeholder Engagement – Part 1

by Amy Farley

“Who should be at the table?” is a critical question that all collaborative efforts face throughout their existence. We’ve seen that the most successful collaborative efforts constantly evaluate whether the right mixture of stakeholders are working together and committed to the definition of success and supporting strategies.

This same question, though, can significantly stymie a collaborative group’s forward momentum.

When working within in an organization it’s

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The Complexity of Collaboration

by Amy Farley

Goals such as “ending childhood hunger” or “building a healthcare system that works for all” are aimed at complex problems and generally require complex solutions. We all know that these types of problems can’t be solved by just one person, but the need to engage cross-sector stakeholders – most often times individuals who have vastly different perspectives on the problem and potential solutions – adds yet

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The Inevitable Chicken vs. Egg Battles of Collaboration

by Amy Farley

In a recent post we explored the importance of finding progress in the overwhelming volume of “process” that can surface when a collaborative effort is just getting started. Inherent in helping group members find a sense of progress in their work is the need for a clear and commonly shared sense of destination: it’s difficult to feel forward momentum when you’re lost in the forest and

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About Us

At Community Wealth Partners we dream of a world in which all people thrive. To realize this dream, we help change agents solve social problems at the magnitude they exist.

For 20 years we’ve helped diverse, inspiring change agents make lasting progress in their organizations and communities. Working side by side we reimagine what’s possible and promote new ways of thinking. Through this spirit of intense partnership, we help change agents accelerate the pace of change and carry their dream forward.

As a Share Our Strength organization, we bring the successful practices of one of the nation’s leading anti-hunger, anti-poverty organizations to hundreds of change agents nationwide. 

Latest from Our Blog

In Collaboration, the Means Matter

How we collaborate matters greatly. A few years ago, I supported a national foundation in bringing together a group of state-based funders to address educational inequities in their state. Though the goal was clear, the national foundation’s intentions and agenda were not as transparent. After a few intimate convenings, one brave regional funder asked the national foundation the question many had been wondering: “Why did you bring us together?”

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Resources

At Community Wealth Partners we’ve drawn on lessons from the anti-malaria movement, the designated driver campaign, the reduction in crime in New York city in the ‘90s, the anti-tobacco movement, the revitalization of Harlem and the anti-hunger movement, and our ongoing partnerships with clients nationwide. We decode what works and bring you our insights—insights that anyone who dreams of solving a social problem can apply.

Network-Based Strategy

In an era of movement-building and collective impact models, many nonprofits continue to rely on networks of chapters, affiliates or partners to achieve transformational results at scale. Today’s network leaders face a complex set of challenges when developing and implementing new strategies. Following our webinar on this topic, we put together a Field Guide with tips and stories on navigating four pitfalls of implementing network-wide strategy. This field guide serves to help leaders sharpen their approach to implementing strategy across a network.

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Change-Making Culture

Our published article in The Foundation Review argues that a foundation’s internal culture is critical to achieving large-scale social change, but that efforts to build a change-making culture are too often left out of strategy conversations. While there is no one culture that suits every foundation, a particular set of characteristics must be present in those that seek large-scale social change: a focus on outcomes, transparency, authenticity, collaboration, equity and inclusion, continuous learning, and openness to risk.

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Intentional Influence

Our Stanford Social Innovation Review blog series, “The Value of Intentional Influence,” lays out an approach for intentional influence by framing five questions leaders should address. These questions help leaders determine who can play a role in solving the problem, what actions they want individuals to take, what barriers (either motivation or ability) need to be overcome, and how they might move people to action.

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When Good is Not Good Enough

In this article, published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review and co-authored with leaders from KaBOOM! and Share Our Strength, we argue that the social sector must shift its attention from modest goals that provide short-term relief to bold goals that, while harder to achieve, aim to tackle social problems at the magnitude they exist. The article describes the obligation and opportunity KaBOOM! and Share Our Strength found in reflecting on their results and confronting the tough question, “What does success look like?”

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Where to Start: Setting a Bold Goal

Why do some social change efforts achieve transformational results while others only make incremental progress? We have found that change agents push beyond compelling but often ambiguous visions and mission statements and instead define success with bold, long-term goals. Such goals lead to decisions that propel change agents on a clearer and more powerful trajectory, ultimately leading to greater impact, faster. This field guide offers a set of frameworks, examples and questions for change agents starting down the path of setting a bold goal.

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Social Transformation Lifecycle

This tool helps you ask the powerful questions necessary for gauging and advancing your progress toward transformational change. It draws from our client work and in-depth research on efforts that have tackled social problems at the magnitude they exist. Although this work is complex and messy, we’ve found that transformational efforts often progress through a common set of stages. Across each stage, there are critical questions with which change agents must wrestle, and ultimately answer to make progress. We would encourage you to locate your efforts within this lifecycle and consider which questions to begin answering.

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