“Collective Impact,” a term coined by John Kania, Managing Director at FSG, and Mark Kramer, Kennedy School at Harvard and Co-founder of FSG, argues that organizations should form cross-sector coalitions in order to make meaningful and sustainable progress on social issues. That is exactly what is happening in West Dallas, Texas where “Serve West Dallas” (SWD), a collaboration of 15 faith- and community-based organizations (FBCOs), is working to facilitate a spiritual, economic, social, and physical transformation of West Dallas neighborhoods in zip code 75212.

Social Capital Valuations (SCV)  worked with SWD administration as well as collaborative members to create a unified logic model, depicting the web of activities that affect specific community transformative outputs and outcomes. SCV monetized those outcomes to calculate the collaborative’s EV-ROI. The authors also identified five conditions of success for collective impact initiatives:

  • A Common Agenda,
  • Shared Measurement Systems,
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities,
  • Continuous Communications,
  • A Backbone Support Organization

What did we find? Serve West Dallas generates over $16 million annually in cost savings – roughly six times greater than the cost of operating the programs. Moreover, while we do not make cause and effect claims, neither do we think it is merely chance that the transformation of West Dallas neighborhoods contributed to a greater decline in both crime and poverty rates of zip code 75212 when compared to its adjacent zip code areas, the City of Dallas, and the United States more generally.