United Way of Albany County

Collective Impact Coalition of Albany County


Mission Statement: Collective Impact is a collaborative framework that aligns resources and efforts to improve the well-being of Albany County


What is Collective Impact?

Collective impact is a structured form of collaboration, meant to be a collaborative problem-solving effort. It’s the commitment of a group of people from different sectors, working together to solve a specific social problem. Many social problems are realistically too complex and cannot be tackled by one single entity alone, meaning many stakeholders must be involved in the process to create effective and long-term results. These actors create a longstanding commitment to work together on a common agenda.

Five Conditions of Collective Impact:

  • Common Agenda
  • Shared Measurement
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities
  • Continuous Communication
  • Backbone Support

Learn about Collective Impact procedure here! 


Why is Collective Impact Best Practice? 

Nonprofit agencies and institutions are great at addressing specific community needs. However, many times solving large community needs can be challenging due to limited resources of these agencies and institutions.

United Way of Albany County and the many other collaborators of this project strongly believe that working collectively towards a common goal can effectively improve the health of the Albany County community.


Community Benefits of Collective Impact:

  • Diversity of thought can lead to more successful results
  • Increased collaboration and trust in the community
  • Include community members in the collaborative process
  • Customizable for local needs and participants
  • Build a culture that fosters relationships, trust, and respect


What has the Collective Impact Coalition accomplished?

The coalition officially got its start in spring of 2021! The group acquired United Way to act as the “backbone support” to help facilitate and structure the project. United Way doesn’t participate in influencing the coalition’s focus, nor does United Way cast votes. However, we do coordinate the group and help direct the coalition after they make decisions.

Additionally, the coalition also has created working committees. These included coalition building/recruitment, data collection, and organizational creation and development. The coalition focused heavily on data collection. In summer and fall of 2021, the data committee worked diligently to provide the entire coalition with the information needed to make an informed decision to narrow to a final topic of focus. Fortunately, Dr. Gabel Taggart and University of Wyoming students prepared final reports on Albany County social determinants of health data to present to the group. These are the areas they studied:

  • Economic Stability: Help people earn steady incomes that allow them to meet their health needs.
  • Education Access and Quality: Increase educational opportunities and help children and adolescents do well in school.
  • Healthcare Access and Quality: Increase access to comprehensive, high-quality health care services.

Afterwards, to narrow down to a specific topic of focus, a formal voting process took place. Using the ranked choice voting method, members pared down to three top initiatives: Affordable Housing, Access and Preventive Care, and Mental Health. Finally, in December it was narrowed down to one area of focus: Affordable Housing! This will be the coalition’s topic of focus as we move into 2022 and beyond.

The video below features an overview of Collective Impact and explanation of Albany County’s Coalition’s accomplishments and goals!

Our Coalition:

For a collective impact project to be successful, coalition building is important. We are working to create a coalition that is built on trust and respects all. We also are actively working towards diversifying and expanding the coalition so that we have members that represent Albany County from all identities, fields of work, income levels, age, and more.

The coalition building committee was busy in 2021. They strategized who and how to add members to the coalition. We now have a total of 16 Steering Members. Steering Members are leaders of the coalition, they provide strategic guidance but community members are the one’s who provide action! The plan for 2022 is to analyze certain demographics we lack in the coalition with the goal in mind to fill in those holes! We also plan to start developing working groups of community members in 2022.


Coalition Members as of May 2022:


  • Nate Keith – Pastor at Trinity Lutheran
  • Brenda Birkle – My Front Door Executive Director

Steering Members:

  • Mary Burman – Nursing, retired
  • Mike Vercauteren, MSW – Laramie Interfaith, retired (inactive)
  • Rich Lindsey – Statewide policy and consulting services
  • Lisa Theis – Albany County School District
  • Kim Chestnut, MEd, PhD – University of Wyoming, VP of Student Affairs
  • Ray Kasckow – Laramie Main Street Alliance/Laramie Public Art Coalition
  • Brian Harington – Laramie City Council Representative
  • Gabel Taggart, BA,MPP,PhD – University of Wyoming, Research Fellow, Center for Organizational Research and Design
  • Amelia Kelso, BA, MA – Zenith Business Solutions
  • Christine Langley – Wyoming Women’s Business Council
  • Mary Orr – Department of Workforce Services – Employment and Training Laramie and Rawlins Workforce Centers
  • Kyrie Blaney – Build Mothers Build the World
  • Abby Melbye – Laramie Soup Kitchen assistant & Former Laramie Interfaith caseworker
  • Courtney Titus-University of Wyoming Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Sr. Program Coordinator


Backbone Support Staff:

  • Evelyn Edson – United Way Executive Director
  • Tim Etzkorn-Director of Collective Impact Coalition


Status Report:

Currently, the coalition is in a transitional phase. The coalition is getting educated on the complex topic of affordable housing and brainstorming next steps. Fortunately, the organizational and development committee secured funding so the coalition could hire a Contracted Collective Impact Director. Our next steps are to on-board our new Director and complete a formal data dive to better analyze community needs. This will center data at the core of our process.

In the future, committees of community members will be formed, fundraising will take place, we’ll start campaign marketing, and implement a strategic pan.

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Ways to Get Involved:

Are you a business or organization that supports the coalition’s efforts? Sign the Letter of Support (PDF) or Letter of Support (Word Doc)- Please email the signed letter to info@nullunitedwayalbanycounty.org
Apply to be a coalition member! Fill out the interest form here.
Sign up for our newsletter! Click here.
Support collective impact by donating to United Way efforts and programs! Click here.


Local Supporters: 




Collective-Impact-Handout.pdf (usc.edu)

Kania, John & Kramer, Mark. Collective Impact. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Winter 2011.

Collective Impact (ssir.org)

Collective Impact Forum | Home

Social Determinants of Health – Healthy People 2030 | health.gov