Nonprofit Forms Affiliate to Boost Collective Impact for Youth
Contact: Patrick Boyle
The nonprofit Forum for Youth Investment has formed a new affiliate to help communities achieve collective impact for young people.
The Forum has joined forces with the team from Community Systems Group, Inc., a national leader in boosting the effectiveness of community coalitions, to form a new company: Community Systems Group, LLC. The new affiliate delivers a range of field-tested services to help coalitions and other community-based partnerships evaluate and improve their work.
“This expands the Forum’s capacity to deliver a full menu of supports for community change efforts – marking one more step in our development of A-to-Z supports for communities and states,” said Forum CEO Karen Pittman.
CSG will help coalitions diagnose the causes behind specific community issues and develop plans to address those causes. Its services include:
• developing monitoring systems to capture the activities of coalitions and analyze their impact;
• helping to decide what data to collect (including well-being indicators) and how to ensure the quality of that data;
• creating process evaluations to help coalitions improve their organization and processes; and
• evaluating programs and interventions that the coalitions support.
CSG Inc. had been a partner with the Forum since 2009, supporting community coalitions that carry out the Forum’s signature initiative, Ready by 21, and evaluating their progress. “The more we worked together, the more we saw the power of combining our expertise,” said Paul Evensen, who co-founded CSG Inc. in 1999 and served as its president.
He noted that the Forum helps communities improve youth services and supports by providing tools and technical assistance that build community capacity for fundamental, long-term change. CSG Inc. helped communities improve social conditions by evaluating and strengthening the very groups with which the Forum works.
The Forum formed a new company – CSG, LLC – which purchased the assets and intellectual property of CSG Inc. Evensen is president of the new company, which is an affiliate of the Forum.
“The launch of CSG, LLC is the start of an ambitious effort by the Forum to invest in new services provided through Ready by 21, including a new data platform for more powerful analytics, and a certification process to give communities credit for what they have accomplished,” Pittman said. These services are being developed through new business partnerships that will soon be announced, she said.
These new services are designed to work together: Carrying out the enhanced professional development and supports, as well as using the data platform to document efforts-to-outcomes, will help communities achieve certification for their efforts.