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2019 Champions for Change: Leading a Backbone Organization for Collective Impact

October 15 - October 17

Collective Impact Forum

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM  Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM (EDT)

Pittsburgh, PA

Event Details

A strong backbone team – staff dedicated to guiding a cross-sector group of stakeholders toward a common goal – is a critical component of collective impact. Come join the Collective Impact Forum on Oct. 15-17, 2019 for a three-day workshop designed for leaders of backbone teams from collective impact initiatives.

About Champions For Change 2019

The Champions for Change workshop, now in its sixth year, provides professional development to backbone leaders; encourages peer learning among backbone teams; and shares new insights on the work of backbones from the field.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Clarifying the roles and leadership characteristics of the backbone
  • Incorporating equity in your collective impact work
  • Fostering community collaboration and co-ownership in your initiative
  • Building collaboration with funders, partners, and stakeholders
  • Developing and learning from shared measurement
  • Evaluating collective impact
  • Sustaining momentum for collective impact initiatives over the long-term

Join us this October 15-17, 2019 for our longest-running and most popular training—Champions for Change!

The 2019 Workshop Agenda is being finalized, but you can now see our developing 2019 Agendaplease view the in-development 2019 workshop agenda here.

Champions for Change Speakers

Confirmed speakers for Champions for Change 2019 include:

  • Robert Albright, Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
  • Lauren A. Smith, Managing Director, FSG
  • Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum
  • Junious Williams, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum

Who will get the most out of Champions?  

The Champions for Change learning experience is most geared for those who are more at the early/beginning stages of their collective impact work, whether you are are just starting out or are a couple years into your initiative. It can also be a helpful learning experience if you have a team who are new to working in the collective impact space.

If you have been doing collective impact work for many years and feel more comfortable with the areas of focus around data, embedding equity, and supporting partners, we would recommend instead our annual Collective Impact Convening that includes more later-stage work and case studies. Our 2020 Collective Impact Convening will be held in May 2020 in Minneapolis, MN, and registration will open in Fall 2019.

Have you attended Champions before? This training is similar in theme and content to previous years of successful Champions for Change workshops.

If you have attended Champions for Change in the past, we would recommend this opportunity if you are looking for a refresher of the content, or as a new learning opportunity for your teammates or stakeholders. If you are not looking for a refresher, but for completely new workshops, we recommend our annual convening instead.


Hotel Accommodations

The Pittsburgh Marriott City Center is the event headquarters hotel. Our discounted group block is $159 per night, excluding taxes and fees. After registering for the event, you will receive hotel booking information. The group rate is available through 9/23/19 or until the room block is sold out. 

Meals during Champions: These meals will be provided during the workshop:

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019: Includes Breakfast and Lunch.
  • Thursday, October 17, 2019: Includes Breakfast.

What Attendees have said about Champions for Change

“I’ve attended and planned plenty of conferences, and this was one of the best designed and managed I’ve seen. The pace was brisk without being exhausting, and it was highly interactive throughout.” 

“Excellent conference – provided much needed content and dialogue on the role and structure of the backbone organization.” 

“I really enjoyed the interaction that was provided. This fostered learning from each other as well as from the presenters!”

Note that this workshop is designed for staff playing the backbone function and steering committee members of collective impact initiatives demonstrating or working to implement all five conditions of collective impact (common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support).

Group Rates Available

For groups of 10 or more people attending Champions together, the Forum is offering a special group rate of $700 per person. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about this group rate at christopher@detailsbycp.com.

Scholarship Applications Now Open – Applications due June 12, 2019A limited number of scholarships for a registration discount are available for this workshop. This discount will bring registration down to $350 for the full workshop. The due date for scholarship applications is June 12, 2019, and decisions will be made by June 20, 2019. Click here to submit your application.

Scholarship priorities are to help subsidize registration for those whose organizational budgets are less than $500,000, or who are from an underrepresented group within nonprofit leadership. People of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) are encouraged to apply.

Apply for a Registration Scholarship