• 300 West Tryon Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • (919) 245-2071
  • 300 West Tryon Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • (919) 245-2400


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17% of children in Orange County live in poverty, despite a county-wide median income of more than $56,000. Because of this, Orange County has the greatest income inequality in the state of North Carolina.

What is Collective Impact?

We recognize that to create change in our community we must all work together and share both responsibilities and accomplishments in our work.

The work of the Family Success Alliance is facilitated by a core group of staff located at the Orange County Health Department, and overseen by the Family Success Alliance Advisory Council and the communities that make-up each zone. This kind of model that brings together community groups around a shared, collective mission is called Collective Impact.

To evaluate our use of this model, FSA will look at how effective FSA is in incorporating of the five core elements of the collective impact model into our work:

  • Common Agenda: Keeps all parties moving towards the same goal
  • Common Progress Measures: Measures that get to the TRUE outcome
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities: Each expertise is leveraged as part of the overall
  • Communication: This allows a culture of collaboration
  • Backbone Support: Takes on the role of managing collaboration
  • Equity: Using an equity lens throughout the work that we do

Our progress in achieving these elements is measured through meeting evaluation forms and through The Wilder Foundation’s Collaboration Factors Inventory, which invites members across the collaborative to talk about the culture, environment, progress, and collaborative support provided in achieving these core elements.

Shifting Systems to Become More Equitable

The mechanism through which we affect change is in shifting systems. These systems may include personal behaviors, cultural norms, or funding streams- in short, those things that dictate how things get done and how well they get done.

FSA Pipeline Goals

Local data show that families living in FSA zones experience inequalities as a part of the systems in which they live and operate. These inequities in care and opportunity affect their well-being and future success.

FSA has four primary goals used to measure how well families living in our Zones are supported by our work and their community:

  1. Children are healthy and prepared for school entry
  2. Children and youth are healthy and success in school
  3. Youth graduate from high school and college
  4. Families and neighborhood support the healthy development of children

FSA tracks these shifts in service provision by measuring the additional services and programs we are able to offer Zone families to combat these inequities.

Progress on these goals and an inventory of our most recent accomplishments as a collaborative are described in our 2017 Impact Report (PDF).

Measuring Change in our Community

While systems are the drivers of change, the measurable outcomes of these changes are seen through the initiative’s impact.

In addition to goals set by the United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT), the FSA selected 15 core outcome measures that come from the US Department of Education’s performance measures (GPRAs), which Promise neighborhoods collect nationally.

The data for these performance measures focus on how the Zones as a whole are performing over time and to see what kind of impact FSA may be having on the community.

Zone 4 - 3rd Grade Reading EOG

  • % College or Career Ready

Zone 6 - 3rd Grade Reading EOG

  • % College or Career Ready

Zone 4 - 8th Grade Math EOG

  • % College or Career Ready

Zone 6 - 8th Grade Math EOG

  • % College or Career Ready

At baseline, it is observed that Zone Residents are not performing as well on GPRA measures as the county overall.  For a full list of GPRA indicators and progress in Orange County, FSA Zones, and FSA Cohort Participants check out the FSA GPRA Progress Chart.

External Evaluation

In addition to evaluating the overall impact of the Family Success Alliance, we recognize the importance of external evaluation for providing objective and productive ongoing improvements to the Family Success Alliance and our programs.

Beginning in 2016, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a team of evaluators from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Department of Pediatrics teamed up to administer individual program evaluation plans for both the FSA kindergarten readiness program and FSA navigator program. The results from these studies may be found below.

Family Success Alliance/UNC Partnership: Evaluation Findings , July 2017 (PDF)

2017 Summer School Formative Evaluation (PDF)

For a summary of the Family Success Alliance evaluation plan, you can read our Evaluation Plan Brief (PDF). FSA plans to complete a 5-year evaluation report at the conclusion of our fifth cohort’s kindergarten year