What is a United Way Metropolitan Chicago Neighborhood Network?
A new and innovative approach to community solutions, Neighborhood Networks (NN) are United Way Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC)-led coalitions of community partners providing neighborhood-specific solutions to unique community challenges. UWMC works with a lead partner and nonprofits to deliver enhanced services in education, income and health in a central location, usually a middle school or community center.
UWMC acts as a co-coordinator among network partners to establish shared goals, deliverables, timelines and measurements to ensure accountability toward outcomes: more high school graduates, more financially stable households and more families with access to quality preventative health care.
OUR BOLD GOALS
The BOLD GOALS created by each NN community will be accomplished through collective impact. Collective Impact is the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific problem. There are five conditions of collective impact:
- Common agenda – Common agenda is a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.
- Shared measurement – Shared Measurement is the act of collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants ensuring efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable.
- Mutually reinforcing activities – Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
- Continuous communication – Consistent and open communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation.
- Backbone organization – Creating and managing collective impact requires a separate organization(s) with staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiative and coordinate participating organizations and agencies.
The United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and Metropolitan Family Services hopes that by spreading the word of Collective Impact it will encourage collaboration between a variety of groups including government, non-profit, institutions, funders, and other organizations and be a catalyst for moving the community forward. We are working to put together a group to communicate the idea of Collective Impact throughout the Blue Island/Robbins communities with hopes that it will inspire others to join a collective cause and be a useful model for addressing social issues that affect our communities.