The 4STPF Collaboration


Because complex social issues cannot be solved alone.

Many long standing social issues are profoundly complex, requiring quality collaboration to be addressed effectively requiring.

Collaboration makes us more efficient and effective while broadening our impact. To achieve these benefits, we need a systems change mindset. We must look beyond individual agencies and programmes to optimise our collective influence and avoid working in isolation.

Together, we can build a collaborative and impactful social service ecosystem that delivers better outcomes for our service users.

How to Facilitate Effective Collaboration?

The Collaboration Spectrum
Identify where you are and where you want to be using the Collaboration Spectrum, a tool to assess the current and desired levels of collaboration among stakeholders, ranging from competition to integration. One form of deep collaboration is Collective Impact.

Collaboration Spectrum

Key 3 Steps for Effective Collaboration Today:
Begin your collaboration journey with these 3 starter questions. They help to identify whether a Collective Impact approach should be used.

3 Questions - Collaboration

NCSS actively promotes effective collaboration through the Collective Impact approach. This approach provides a structure for multiple organisations to unite around a common agenda to solve complex social problems. NCSS supports interested SSAs by connecting relevant partners and providing learning and funding resources.

What is Collective Impact?
Collective Impact is a committed and structured partnership between different stakeholders to work on a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.

Assembling the Right Team: Begin by building a team with diverse expertise.

Structured Collaboration for Greater Impact: With structured collaboration and coordination efforts, we can drive real change within complex systems.

Harnessing Data for Impact: In the Collective Impact approach, data drives informed, focused, and result-oriented collaboration.

The Power of Collective Impact: Five Critical Conditions
In Collective Impact, actors from diverse sectors unite to tackle social issues. These five conditions define Collective Impact:

Collaboration 5 Conditions of Collective Impact Annotated

A Practical Guide to Collaboration:

Collaboration Process

Your Toolkit for Collaboration
Kick-start your collaborative efforts with these practical guidelines derived from the NCSS VRO's "Guide on Service-Based Volunteering Partnership Models and Case Studies V1.0".

Tools and Resources to Get Started

Here are foundational tools and resources to begin:

Collective Impact Masterclass:

Explore learning sessions on Collective Impact from 2020 to 2023, offered in partnership with Tamarack Institute. Gain insights into effective collaborative strategies. Watch these informative videos to learn more about Collective Impact.

Ready to Embark on Your Collaborative Journey?

Introduction to Collective Impact (6 min)


Introduction to Backbone Governance (4 min)


More videos on Collective Impact on YouTube.

Colabs Toolkit

The NVPC toolkit includes Colabs' core principles, a three-phase journey, and a ten-step process for sensemaking complex issues. It can be adapted to various social issues and modalities.

4ST Playbook on Strategic Partnerships

This playbook outlines steps to foster strategic and sustainable partnerships between sectors and stakeholders for greater impact.

Apply for the NCSS 4ST Partnership Fund.

Ready to embark on your collaborative journey? Take the first step by applying for the NCSS 4ST Partnership Fund. This fund is dedicated to mobilising the sector to create solutions that foster innovation, collaboration, and empowerment. It supports projects that address upstream support for lower-income families, support for persons with mental health conditions, and emerging needs and gaps.

If you have a project in mind, don't hesitate.
4ST Partnership Fund applications are open each year, in April and October.

Find out more about collaboration:

Learn more about empowerment and innovation.