For decades, communities working on tough challenges have used words like “collaboration” or “initiative” to describe their shared efforts.

Through trial-and-error, many innovative community models have emerged.

We like the Collective Impact model that’s moving around the country right now. It’s practical. Stories of impressive results are bubbling up.

Collective Impact recognizes that while communities want to and can see quick changes, most lasting change requires patience, transparency and stick-to-it-iveness. It also acknowledges that everyone is working toward a better life in their community. Perceived competitors are ultimately allies in the same vision.

As a successful model, Collective Impact requires a great deal from partners. However, it lays those requirements out from the start. Partners choose to participate. They aren’t required. The model also recognizes that none of us is doing everything we can do and our ability to work with others can be better. It recognizes that most of us are uncomfortable sharing our weak spots and our failures with each other. Collective Impact welcomes all of us to share both – without judgment or retribution. The focus is on data, testing, accountability, support. Those ultimately impacted by the effort are directly involved in the work.


Collective Impact has five conditions – or pillars – that form its foundation.  The OpportunINDY model is based on these five pillars.

Explore the five pillars and OpportunINDY’s plan for working with each pillar by clicking through the graphic below. See an illustration of our structure here. To learn more about how we make decisions as a body, click here.


Common Agenda

Shared Measurement Systems

Mutually-Reinforcing Activities

Continuous Communication

Backbone Support