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Community Impact Circles » Welcome

Welcome to Community Impact Circles

A Community Impact Circle (Impact Circles) is a free tool for your collaborative to use for advanced web-based communication (such as real-time screen sharing conference calls), document storage and sharing, along with providing project management, outcomes measurement tools and learning resources on best practices in collaboration. The goal is to make communication and data sharing easier for your collaborative.

Why Community Impact Circles?

The underlying vision of the CIC network is that providing the technological infrastructure needed for organizations, community members and legislators to meaningfully interact with each other will facilitate innovation, enhance information exchange, and expand our capacity and effectiveness in achieving our organizational and community goals. The work you do is so vital to the strength and future of our state, and in the end the hope is to help you do what you do even better. No one person or organization has the ability to change the world alone...but together we can.

What can a Community Impact Circle do for me?

The CIC features are meant to give you the internet tools needed to bridge the gap between the generation of ideas and their implementation. Everything from holding a virtual meeting, to bouncing ideas off committee members remotely, to coordinating an upcoming fundraising event with partner organizations, to storing the documents from a recent press release, CIC's provide the technological infrastructure you need to build organizational capacity and enhance your day-to-day operations.

An Example of a Community Impact Circle Dashboard:

Community Impact Circle Screenshot

The essential tools are:

  • Communication (computer screen sharing and conference call technologies)
  • Web-based document Storage and File Sharing
  • Collaborative Management Tool
  • Collaborative Outcome Management Tool
  • Other Tools (Mapping, Tracking and more) and,
  • Learning & Resources

Why the Term "Community Impact Circle"

We prefer the term Community Impact Circle, rather than the word collaboration, because the term Community Impact Circle frames a context for the reason that individuals, organizations, talents, assets and skill-sets come identify, address and positively impact a specific community condition.

That said, sometimes the simple act of coming together informally and sharing stories and providing support to one another can be powerful in keeping up the knowledge and spirits of citizens and community organizations that are moving mountains and taking on great challenges of change in their communities. A Community Impact Circle can be that. Change takes time and support is always needed.

We expect most Community Impact Circles that are formed on this Platform to be a strategic network of individuals, organization, talents, assets and skill-sets that come together to address and impact a community condition. This approach falls within the framework of Results-Based Accountability® (RBA).

RBA is the performance accountability and measurement approach required by the Connecticut Legislature Appropriations Committee. Any program seeking funding from the State of Connecticut (and a growing number of private funders), must use a an RBA approach and reporting mechanism. This is why we seek to teach best RBA practices here on the Platform.

RBA focuses on population level (Community) quality of life. And asks: What results do we want as a community and what strategies (collections of activities or services) do we want to buy/employ in order to achieve our quality of life result?

Collaboratives or individual nonprofits need to explain how their services contribute to achieving specific population results. To meet the criteria of RBA, the Community Impact Circles are encouraged to answer a key question: How does the work of this Community Impact Circle support turning the curve on a community indicator in a positive direction? They then need to present measures that show:

  • how much service or activity they are providing
  • how well the services and activities are being delivered
  • whether anyone is better off.

To learn more about RBA, read our Results-Based Accountability Learning Section.

To Create a Community Impact Circle, Click here.