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The Importance of Funding Collaborative Projects to Fuel Social Change

by Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.

The societal issues that adversely affect our nation and our world are complex and multifaceted. Rarely can we point to one cause —or one solution —for issues such as child abuse, poverty, or hunger. Humans are complex beings. We are capable of creating great works of art and amazing advances in science and technology. But because we are complex, one size does not fit all in our efforts to alleviate suffering, encourage health and wellness, and reverse destructive or self defeating behaviors. 

If we are sincere in our desire to address the issues that negatively affect our communities and our citizens, we must develop interventions that more accurately mirror the complicated reality of the challenges we face. We must embrace collective impact as a goal, and we must encourage stakeholders and funders to support and encourage this approach. Although developing, implementing, and evaluating collective impact efforts is challenging, it really is the only course of action that makes sense.

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