We hope that this Roadmap can serve as an inspiration for any group of actors or individuals who have a common agenda for solving a specific societal problem.  

The Collaboration Roadmap consists of steps that Eva Ahlström Foundation has taken for a greater impact on societal problems. These steps and guidelines are based on our experience of the past 10 years.  Our  experience has been enriched by working with collaboration partners and our implementing partners such as UNICEF and Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)


We have summarized our collaboration model into five steps that we follow, when creating and realizing joint projects. Feel free to use these guidelines and adapt them for your own collective impact initiatives. 

1. Define your passion and the project you want to address and that can be scaled

Define a passion and find an issue that needs to be solved. Talk and listen to experts; for our part, we listen to UNICEF. Choose a project that can be scaled and with a high expected Return on Investment. Your goal is a snowball effect that multiplies the impact!


2. Choose your collaboration partners based on joint vision and values

When you have identified the issue you want to solve, survey the field for people with joint vision, congruent values and ambition level. Allocate enough time to find and meet with suitable partners for collaboration. In our case, this typically takes 3–6 months. 


3. Set up a framework 

Before you start your journey, set up a framework to ensure that the level of commitment is clear. The idea here is that involvement in the project means full commitment for the entire initiative. Compile a risk assessment plan to prepare for unforeseen circumstances. We encourage you to do proper due diligence with all collaborators. Accept that collaboration projects take time. Start with one year but be ready to extend your project into the longer term, say 3–5 years.


4. Get organized 

Appoint  a chair, who is  motivated to  lead the project and willing to allocate time to it. Form a steering group for coordination and communication. Define clear roles for each collaborator, and name a contact person. Make sure everyone understands and accepts what is expected of them and allocates enough time to their duties.


5. Communicate and inspire others

The project is more important than the collaboration, so let the content speak for itself. Regardless of the contributors’ differences in  money, time and expertise, they must collectively speak with a unanimous voice. If possible, we encourage you to learn about the project on site. In our experience, this helps us participants form a better understanding of the issue at large. Regular reporting about the project is a must. Quantify the impact and share your experiences so others can learn. Get inspired and spark change!



You do not need to have everything figured out when you start, so just take the plunge! Once you have begun, you can reassess your progress regularly and adjust your actions accordingly

If you want to read more about our road map have a look at our case study from IMD's Family Philanthropy Navigator (Vogel.P, Eichenberger. E, Kurak.M 2020, Family Philantropy Navigator, International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne)

Purpose_Maria Ahlstrom_structure_2 (002).jpg