Fresno’s DRIVE Initiative (Developing the Region’s Inclusive and Vibrant Economy) is an audacious, 10- year approach to community transformation that has garnered attention as a statewide and national model. Through DRIVE, the Fresno community aims to invest big in systems change for broadest prosperity, while redefining success to center on racial equity. The Central Valley Community Foundation is positioned as the backbone entity supporting DRIVE, bringing a combination of radical passion for change, legacy convening power, and subject matter leadership.
Operating a collective impact initiative like DRIVE is a constant hustle, but this is the “secret sauce” that will turn DRIVE’s program work into something greater than the sum of its parts. Working effectively for collective impact is its own art and science, distinct from CVCF’s other contributions through traditional subject matter expertise. The need to constantly monitor and evaluate DRIVE’s processes and progress creates a responsibility for CVCF to ensure that data collection is consistent, follows articulated plans, integrates with other forms of community engagement, and produces learning that is communicated to stakeholders throughout the DRIVE structure and beyond. Through persistent focus and follow-up, DRIVE moves its equity-centered theory of change from aspiration to expectation to reality.
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