The scale and complexity of social problems means that effective nonprofits are prepared to think differently about how best to achieve real community progress. They recognize that isolated approaches rarely result in lasting change. Instead, they apply a systems-wide lens to their work and look for ways to be actively involved in networks, coalitions or other collaborative projects.




We cultivate the partners and external resources necessary to deliver on our mission.

Being actively engaged in the broader community leads to organizational and individual relationships that can be leveraged to better support their work. From these relationships, organizations can exchange information and ideas, make and receive referrals, share resources, and in other ways advance the mission of the organization.


We have formal partnerships with public, private and nonprofit players.

The nonprofit sector is seeing an increased need, eagerness and even expectation to collaborate. This convergence allows for greater dialogue and partnership among nonprofit, corporate and government leaders. Formalizing these partnerships with appropriate contracts, Memoranda of Understanding and agreements secures the interests of all parties by specifying roles, responsibilities and expectations.


We understand our organization’s role addressing complex community challenges.

Most organizations don’t have the capacity to reach every individual in their target client population or to address every need of their target issue. However, nonprofits of every size can “move the needle” by being clear about their ultimate goal or vision for community change, and the specific role they intend to play in the overall solution.


We are involved in a network, coalition or other systems-change initiative toward community improvement.

There are numerous system-change efforts taking place in our community, formed to tackle a region’s complex challenges through collective approaches. Often these collaborative projects bring groups together who are approaching the same problem from different perspectives or playing complementary roles in addressing a similar need.


We openly provide information and guidance when others seek our leadership and wisdom in order to amplify our impact.

Organizations modeling system leadership use their knowledge and wisdom to work with others to develop lasting solutions. They serve as strong advocates for social change, encouraging dialogue, collaboration and information sharing. They focus on the whole system and what is needed to change it, rather than solely concentrating on their own organization’s individual outcomes and sustainability.

The Nonprofit Effectiveness Framework: Six Critical Elements to Nonprofit Work

Mission Capital Services and Resources


Explore creative partnerships and strategic collaborations, including mergers, and identify new ways of working together to extend your community impact.


This private, online community provides nonprofit professionals, board members and volunteers with a place to connect and share information, experiences and ideas.


Nonprofit Mergers: A Strategic Tool for Impact and Sustainability

This report offers an in-depth understanding of the benefits, challenges and complexities of nonprofit mergers.


Nonprofit Partnership: Motivations and Desired Outcomes

A worksheet which provides guidance on motivations for pursuing merger or other forms of strategic collaboration based on the outcomes organizations want to achieve.

Collaborative Projects for Community Improvement

Solving complex problems requires intentional and productive collaborations focused on action and impact. Our services help organizations work together across sectors to achieve greater impact.


Collective Impact for Austin-Area Foster Children

Learn how several nonprofits, funders, community activists and government agencies are working collectively to improve the foster care system in Austin.


Transforming Our Communities Requires Transforming Our Thinking

If nonprofits want to big social problems, we need to take a different approach, one that recognizes the complexity of the problem and opens our minds to new and different ways of working together.

Other Resources

Local Forces for Good

The authors of Forces for Good examine how their framework for creating high-impact nonprofits applies to local and smaller organizations.

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Collective Impact Forum

This website includes an online community and resource for practitioners and funders seeking to utilize the collective impact approach.

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What’s Your End Game?

By asking a different question, and by focusing on a different kind of goal, leaders can maximize their ability to achieve significant social impact.

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