Infrastructure Gets the Work Done for Future Ready Collier

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When it comes to collective impact, successful engagement depends on the right kind of communication. Future Ready Collier’s network is made up of a dispersed and diverse group of organizations. Individual participants have full-time jobs and a full slate of commitments. The partners’ goals are big and aspirational, requiring focused efforts and relying on committed action. To reach its members, and to keep the work moving forward, Future Ready Collier uses a variety of platforms, channels, and in-person events.

In-person Meetings: Goal Groups and More

Primary in-person events include quarterly goal group meetings. These are broken into three sessions across two days, convening the Early Development, School Success, and College and Career Success goal groups, respectively. Over the course of two hours, the goal groups hear pertinent networkwide updates, review goals, and devote time to priority team breakout sessions. Priority teams represent specific objectives within the goal groups, and are designed to set achievable plans for ground-level impact within Future Ready Collier’s overarching mission. Work is intended to be ongoing in the months between goal group meetings.

Future Ready Collier will convene topic-specific gatherings, as needed, and hosts regular conversations among the network’s strategic partners, who function as an advisory group for the larger network of more than 60 organizations. When events of shared interest to the entire collective are confirmed, such as FAFSA completion days, Future Ready Collier will lend its assistance to spread the word.

Digital Communication Tools

Digital solutions support day-to-day information-sharing needs. Future Ready Collier maintains a robust website with resources for network members as well as the community. Anyone new to the group’s work can learn about its mission, history, and goals. Regular posts shared to the website keep readers informed about the network’s progress, events, milestones, and meetings. A monthly e-newsletter has a broad subscriber base and includes targeted updates, meeting registration links, and other requests for network participation. Anyone is welcome to sign up to receive the newsletter.

To keep the goal groups and their related priority teams organized and on track as the complexity of the school year unfolds, Future Ready Collier uses internet-based services like Basecamp and Padlet. These enable participants to easily access documents like meeting agendas and presentations, review networkwide announcements, and share needs related to communitywide challenges like September 2022’s devastating Hurricane Ian.

With a network of this size and diversity, keeping focus on the mission, and the daily work needed to achieve that mission over time, is no small task. While Future Ready Collier’s partners regularly reaffirm their commitment to the collective impact, it is just as necessary to have these operational needs in mind. Having infrastructural supports, like regular meetings and established digital communication channels, ensures that those doing the hard work of making a difference for children and families in Southwest Florida can keep their attention where it is best served.