Every Child/Every Promise leverages proven expertise, effective resources and a nationally recognized collective impact approach to enable our community to improve and create local systems to ensure our young people succeed. Our Theory of Action helps local partnerships build and sustain civic infrastructure by engaging the community, eliminating disparities, focusing on continuous improvement and aligning existing resources.
More Than Collaboration
Communities throughout the country have seen hundreds of individual programs, organizations and initiatives work to solve overlapping local social problems. Working in silos, these efforts have traditionally fought for the same pot of money and resources with mixed results.
While there have been improvements for individual classrooms or schools, long-term, systemic change has seemed unattainable.
Our own schools were in similar positions when Every Child/Every Promise started as the first cradle to career community in 2006. By bringing together local leaders to support five promises for youth in our community, the partnership sought to increase student success. More than 30 representatives joined in the cross-sector effort, including the school district, nonprofit organizations, business leaders, city officials and university presidents.
Every Child/Every Promise partners didn’t create a new program or raise more money. Instead, they agreed on a common set of goals, outcomes and 36 success indicators, including kindergarten readiness, fourth-grade reading and math scores, graduation rates and college completion. They aligned resources, and continuously analyzed and shared data to track progress. They used continuous quality improvement, a methodology often used in engineering and healthcare, to coordinate practices and direct resources to what is proven to work for kids. Together, they continue working to improve outcomes for students throughout the community.
That is collective impact.
Four principles for successful collective impact
Every Child/Every Promise adopts four pillars for achieving cradle to career collective impact:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Collaborative Action
Community members come together to use data to collectively move outcomes.
4. Investment and Sustainability
Partnerships initiate or redirect resources (time, talent and treasure) toward data-based practices on an ongoing basis, and engages the community to ensure long-term sustainability.