Community Impact is more than a model or process. It’s the end game. The goal of Community Impact is to ensure community resources are targeted effectively to improve lives in Berkshire County. Berkshire United Way helps do that by bringing people and resources together to find solutions to problems. We know that together, we can create sustainable changes that will help us achieve our community aspiration: Making Berkshire County a community of hope and opportunity where every individual and family lives, works and thrives.
Collective impact involves collaboration among community and business leaders. What makes it unique is a common agenda, shared measures, activities among groups that are coordinated and reinforce one another, continuous communication, and a centralized structure
At Berkshire United Way we’ve embraced this approach because we believe that in today’s environment, we can only achieve significant, sustainable improvements when we unlock the strengths of the entire community, rather than counting on a small number of individuals and non-profits to shoulder the burden.
For more information on Collective Impact, please see the articles below :
Click here for details on the grant application process.
Community goals were formulated as a result of wide-reaching community conversations with over 400 residents from all across the Berkshires. Education and employment have been identified as top priorities. Once goals were established they were aligned with measures and outcomes in Berkshire United Way’s Community Impact – FY 2009/2010 Baseline Report, a summary of socio-economic and educational data points for Berkshire County that includes outcomes and indicators for each priority area. Highlights are detailed in the executive summary.
Community Engagement today takes two key forms. Each year more than 70 volunteers are trained to review and assess funding requests from local human- and social-service agencies. They look for alignment to community goals, and the ability to measure and report improvements over time. They then make recommendations on programs for investment. Volunteers also participate in monitoring each of the funded partners in which Berkshire United Way invests, ensuring that programs are delivered as promised.
Community Impact is all about partnership, collaboration, and innovation – ensuring that all key resources are used to achieve the most effective solutions. Berkshire United Way collaborates with a number of groups to meet its goals: funded partners, school and local government officials, local businesses and health- and human-services organizations, community volunteers, service recipients and residents. Working together the groups engage in education to affect change and support programs. They also determine priorities, and advocate for support for unmet needs in services or resources.
Community Measures take several forms that combine to give us a view on progress. First are the data that each funded partner captures to track and assess program results. Not just the number of people served, but if the program has in fact resulted in improvements for the recipient. Next is the site monitoring done by board, staff and community volunteers to actually see how the program is conducted. Lastly, captured for the first time during 2009-10, Berkshire United Way’s Community Impact Investment Report updates goal-specific research and community data and highlights funded partner outcomes. Highlights are included in the Executive Summary. By measuring performance in these ways, we ensure accountability and the chance to build on successes as well as re-think investment in under-performing programs.
Interested in all the details? Click Here to view or dowload Berkshire United Way's complete Community Impact Business Model. You'll find specifics on our goals, outcomes, indicators and measures.
Community Aspiration: Making Berkshire County a community of hope and opportunity where every individual and family lives, works and thrives!