The Essential Role of a Backbone Organization in Collective Impact in Moving a Community Forward

Thumbnail Image
Desboro, Abby
Master of Leadership Development
The United Way of the Wabash Valley has a 60-year history and is transitioning from a transactional to a relational model in order to meet their community's changing needs. The organization will be utilizing collective impact, which is a structured form of collaboration that revolves around a common agenda to address a social issue. One of the established conditions for collective impact is to have a backbone organization that holds the center of the initiative and drives the work forward. The United Way of the Wabash Valley will be assuming the role of funder and backbone organization in the collective impact initiative and will need to reevaluate their organizational structure and job duties. This thesis will assess the organizations current structure, draw upon research of successful collective impact organizations to lay a foundation of common practices, and finally apply that research to the current organization. This will result in a new organizational structure and job descriptions. This work will be pivotal in laying the foundation for the Wabash Valley to see societal change and creating a stronger community as the result of collective impact.