Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Collective Action

May 15, 2019


This week TechBridge’s Karen Cramer, who leads our Collective Action consulting practice, is attending FSG’s Collective Impact Convening in Chicago. The 2019 Collective Impact Convening brings together funders, backbones, partners and community members for cross-sector dialogue and peer learning to tackle complex issues in the collective impact field.  The concept of collective impact was first articulated in the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article Collective Impact written by John Kania and Mark Kramer at FSG.

Hundreds of representatives from cross sector collaboratives are convening in Chicago to learn from the challenges and successes of other collective impact efforts. On Wednesday, Karen will be on a field trip to learn more about an educational collaborative in Chicago. The Little Village Education Collaborative (LVEC) of Enlace Chicago, convenes over 45 multi-sector partners that encompass the educational pipeline from early childhood education to adult education.

TechBridge is focused on collective action because in order to effectively break the cycle of generational poverty, communities must better coordinate services and use data to fund the combination of programs and services most effective in moving residents from survival to stability to success. A community able to successfully execute on collective action is empowered with the following:

  • Front-line agencies with the capability to collect, share, analyze and act on meaningful data
  • A connected infrastructure that supports the coordination of care and services across agencies and makes data sharing, aggregation and community level analysis both possible and efficient
  • A coordinated theory of change that sets aspirational goals for the community, connects the coordination of services necessary to achieve these goals, and integrates with the theories of change, logic models and program models of individual nonprofits
  • Innovation and decision-making driven by deep insight into field level data combined with insight into previously hidden drivers of success or barriers for community residents suffering from poverty
  • Investment decisions based on performance, contribution to community goals, and addressing funder and service gaps that hinder progress
  • A community that engages in continuous improvement by taking the learnings and innovations provided and applies them to continuing iterations of introspection, planning, and execution

TechBridge helps our nonprofits prepare for collective action. To see how ready your nonprofit is, try our operational readiness survey.

To download TechBridge’s Collective Action White paper, click here.

To learn more how TechBridge can accelerate the efforts of your collaborative, contact Karen at

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