Platform of Hope


The Challenge: Can five organizations work together to establish and design a neighborhood-based collective impact model that meets the comprehensive needs of resident families?

Building a Collective Impact Model Through Design Thinking, to Lift Up a Community

In the capital of a nation built on opportunity and justice for all, there exists a stark inequality, experienced as racial inequity, unequal access to affordable housing, and resources to help children and families succeed including quality preschool, asset building, and educational programs. In few neighborhoods is the disparity as prevalent and harsh as in the rapidly gentrifying Adams Morgan neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. Six local organizations—Capital Area Asset Builders, For Love of Children, Jubilee Housing, Jubilee Jumpstart, Sitar Arts Center, and Mary’s Center—formed a strategic alliance and committed to ending multigenerational poverty in this neighborhood.

Platform of Hope Steering Committee Meeting

With start-up funding from the Meyer Foundation, the Steering Committee hired Mission Partners in October 2017 to guide the group through the foundational process of creating a model for collective impact that would be the basis for a pilot program and five-year effort called the Platform of Hope. Mission Partners led the Steering Committee in a four-month long Design Thinking process that established a vision and common agenda, guiding principles, governance model, program design, budget, process map, and fundraising plan for a one-year pilot cohort of participating families, with plans to scale over 5 years. Mission Partners also developed protocol and trained representatives of each organization to conduct interviews and listening sessions with prospective families. From the onset, the Steering Committee has engaged community members in every step of the process, using their feedback and insights to modify and design the program.


With the guidance of Mission Partners, the Steering Committee will launch the program in September 2018 with a cohort of twenty families, and has adopted a unique and forward-thinking model that measures success through a north star measurement of families who successfully reach self-defined goals; a cross-cutting progress indicator, which measures the degree to which families experience more robust community connections and social networks; and a cross cutting equity lens, which examines equity and accessibility—especially as it relates to racial equity—across all outcome measures.

“The Mission Partners team makes our progress possible by providing a calm head, steady voice, and sharp mind to all manner of mayhem.” – Dee Dee Parker Wright, Executive Director, Jubilee Jumpstart