CSHF defines collaboration as: Multiple organizations, perspectives and disciplines formed and working together in pursuit of a common goal that could not be achieved individually. Collaboration is bigger than partnerships; it is more than a memorandum of understanding.
Collaboration is best used to address complex problems through systems change. It is difficult, resource-intensive, and time-consuming. As such, it is an approach that should be pursued sparingly and thoughtfully, only when the challenge warrants this level of investment. Principles of collective impact, when applied, have been shown to improve a collaboration’s ability to achieve real and measurable progress.
Collaboration applicants with the following attributes are considered more competitive:
- The purpose behind the collaboration aligns tightly with one of CSHF’s funding focus areas
- The collaboration addresses a key community health challenge that requires the intentional and combined efforts of diverse organizations, perspectives and disciplines for its resolution
- The collaboration applies principles of the collective impact model, including backbone functions. See “Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact” by Turner et al, Stanford Social Innovation Review, July 2012 for more insight on backbone functions
- Participating organizations contribute resources (in-kind or cash) to the effort
- The work involves evidence-based practices, whenever possible
- The collaboration has transformative potential
Even if your collaboration does not possess all of the attributes described above, it may still be a good fit for applying. Discuss your collaboration with CSHF staff.