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$1M Collective Impact Initiative - The Search

30 June 2014 at 5:48 pm
Staff Reporter
A group of Australian funders and partners have launched a national $1 million initiative in a bid to work differently to tackle some of Australia’s biggest social problems.

Staff Reporter | 30 June 2014 at 5:48 pm


$1M Collective Impact Initiative - The Search
30 June 2014 at 5:48 pm

A group of Australian funders and partners have launched a national $1 million initiative in a bid to work differently to tackle some of Australia’s biggest social problems.

Described as the first of its kind in Australia, the initiative called The Search, is putting together a resource pool of up to $1 million for an Australian community preparing to tackle issues such as entrenched unemployment, disengagement from education, homelessness, crime and poverty using the Collective Impact framework.

The Search is convened by The Centre for Social Impact and supported by a collaboration of the following organisations:

  • Westpac Foundation;
  • Results Leadership Group (Australia and USA);
  • Social Solutions Group (USA);
  • Blackbaud Pacific;
  • Social Ventures Australia;
  • Australian Communities Foundation;
  • Centre for Social Impact.

“The Search will help communities transform the way they respond to complex social problems in Australia, and create long-lasting social impact,” Dr Andrew Young, CEO of the Centre for Social Impact, said.

He said the collaborators were keen to connect with other like-minded funders interested in catalysing new ways of tackling the nation’s biggest social problems.

Organisers of The Search said Collective Impact was a structured and disciplined way for government, Not for Profits, philanthropists and community groups as well as businesses to work together to create large-scale change.

“Over the last three years, communities around the world have been using the Collective Impact approach to make significant and measurable differences on complex social issues where they have previously seen little change,” they said.

Dr Young said The Search was inviting communities to embark on a nine-month, phased application process designed to build their capacity to apply the Collective Impact framework.

Kerry Graham, from Collaboration for Impact, said: “We are looking to invest in the most promising Collective Impact initiative in Australia. With support, that community will become a ‘lighthouse’ example to inform how other communities across Australia apply the Collective Impact framework to the entrenched social issue that is most deeply and negatively impacting the lives of people in their community.”

CSI said that alarming statistics coming out over the last year reveal that many communities across the country were battling some tough issues, including:

·      New research shows the number of people struggling below the poverty line is steadily increasing and now sits at 11.8 per cent;

  • Obesity rates in Australia have soared by more than 80 per cent since 1980, with about one quarter of children and more than 60 per cent of adults either overweight or obese;
  • One third of Indigenous Australians die by the age of 45, while their average life expectancy is more than a decade less than non-Indigenous Australians;
  • Every night over 100,000 people around the country are homeless, and two out of three people looking for crisis accommodation are being turned away;
  • Suicide is now the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with nearly half (45 per cent) of the population expected to experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives;
  • The youth unemployment rate has hit a 12-year high of 13.1 per cent and overall workforce participation is continuing to decline as more baby boomers retire.

Communities will be selected by an eminent group of local and international judges from the Not for Profit, government, community and philanthropy sectors including: Andrew Young (CEO,Centre for Social Impact), Jocelyn Murphy AM (Trustee, Westpac Foundation), Fay Hanleybrown (Managing Director, FSG) and David Crosbie (CEO, Community Council for Australia).

Expressions of Interest are due on September 17. A shortlist of 10 communities will be announced on October 16 with the selected community announced on March 11.

For more information go to

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