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Prosper Waco has a playbook for moving forward

By Hermann Pereira

If you have spent any time around me you know my allegiance to Houston sports does not waver. I will forever root for my hometown and its sports teams.

One of my earliest memories is of the old Houston Oilers. The light blue uniforms and the classic oil derrick on the side of the helmets were a classic look. The Oilers of the late ’80s and early ’90s ran an offensive scheme called the run-and-shoot offense. It was a scheme that capitalized on its personnel and created mismatches for defenses. As a kid I loved watching the high scoring offense and was intrigued by the pace of the game. When the right scheme meets the right team you have something that changes the game.

Prosper Waco has been on a journey the past six months preparing our “playbook.” Our board of directors, along with our staff, has set out a strategic plan that reflects where Prosper Waco is today and where we are headed in the future.

The board focused on creating a “playbook” that reflected collective impact language throughout. This plan lays out Prosper Waco’s collective impact strategy and our strategic actions. It highlights the common agenda and shared measurements across our three portfolios of education, health, and financial security.

The plan also highlights the role of governance and operations. With this new strategic plan we hope to continue to pursue systems change within the interconnected landscapes of education, health, and financial security in order to build public will and ability to assess and redress disparities in opportunities and outcomes.

One of the highlights of our “playbook” is our local description and approach to Collective Impact. CI is a strategy that many organizations use to solve complex problems. Here at Prosper Waco we have been students of CI and have taken notes from many organizations implementing this strategy across the country. This has resulted in a unique Waco approach reflecting Collective Impact basics and Prosper Waco’s role as a backbone organization for community efforts.

In our strategic plan we have laid out Prosper Waco’s seven Collective Impact elements. These seven elements remind me of the run-and-shoot offense. It is a plan that fits our leadership, our staff, our board, and our community.. It will help all of us work together for common goals. (You may see the seven elements on our website.)

In the coming months we will be sharing more about our plan and how we plan to continue to implement it across our community. If you or your organization would like to connect and discuss collective impact, please reach out. I would love to have a conversation about this and/or other topics with you. Please feel free to contact me at

Hermann Pereira is chief program officer for Prosper Waco.


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