Collectively we spend about $110 billion dollars on public good and services each year. Given this investment, we should be seeing better results. Yet one in five kids lives in poverty, only half of kids are ready for kindergarten, and poor people are more likely to become ill and live shorter lives. What can we do to achieve better results?
Washington Nonprofits set out to answer that question by creating Local Impact Networks. The “big” problems facing communities (health, education, and income) are complex, highly interconnected, and require a coordinated, networked approach. Nonprofits are well suited to operate in networks because they tend to have highly diversified skill niches and be highly adaptive. Washington Nonprofits works with communities to identify and align nonprofits to better address the issues facing the community.
Collaboration can be very powerful. It’s also a lot of work. Washington Nonprofits is creating a shared infrastructure to make it easier to work together on the most important stuff. We are creating a menu of data, tools, and processes to improve results.
In 2016, Washington Nonprofits began working with 3 Local Impact Networks:
- Thurston County: Tumwater School District & Together!
- Kitsap County: Olympic Community of Health & Kitsap Strong
- Spokane County: Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP)
Washington Nonprofits works to strengthen the links between these networks and agencies, policy-makers, philanthropy, and advocacy groups. Ultimately we hope to generate outcome-based funding and improve results. Washington Nonprofits organized the first annual Cross-Sector Summit in November 2016, a gathering of Local Impact Networks, agencies, and philanthropy.