First steps to collective impact with Sarasota animal welfare groups

First steps to collective impact with Sarasota animal welfare groups

Posted on October 09, 2012 by Pam Truitt

So, everyone is up to speed on the work that the eight animal welfare organizations have undertaken with the help of a facilitator, right? If not, here's a refresher of my first and second posts in this series.

Let’s move on, but not without acknowledging each of the organizations for the time and effort they are putting forth. They all share collective impact goals, but how they get there is the story!

Coming together is a beginning

staying together is a process and

working together is a success.

- Henry Ford

Part 2: The Collaboration Journey…

The animal welfare organizations have met about a half-dozen times now. They are well on their way to creating new realities by setting goals and strategies at the intersections of their individual organizations. This is the collective impact core.

What’s currently happening? The goals are being tested through strategies and action steps. Near the end of the last facilitation, when it was time to prioritize action steps, it became clear that just thinking about additional workload on top of already overloaded organizations was just too daunting. So, they have homework to choose one or two action steps per strategy. I will collect their input and summarize, but they will ultimately decide what to take on.

What helps these brave groups continue to work together? I’m always looking for ways to inspire or challenge them to keep going, but overall the facilitations include:

Face Time - Monthly convenings allow time for learning and sharing. The size of the organizations range from small to medium and this time together provides a rare opportunity to think collectively and collaboratively to share their aspirations, realities and possibilities.

Lighten it up - Jokes! For the last few meetings, we’ve started with a joke involving animals. This has turned out to be a hoot and gets everyone laughing!

Inspirational sayings - If I sense the group is losing focus, or if they are just plain tired—I insert a quote (or two). The one by Henry Ford above was used last time. I think it helps to know that the journey will be worth the effort, many times over.

Friday and Food - It works out that lunch on Friday’s is their best time. Lunch is brought in, everyone grabs a plate and we get started. Due to the nature of their work, some of the organizations have vegetarian/vegan diets. Care is taken to make sure that there is something for everyone to eat.

Anyone care to share their facilitation tips?

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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