Evolving alongside the
communities we support
Coffective’s journey has gone through four major chapters.
From listening and creating materials to coaching and supporting coordination, we’ve grown and evolved alongside the community.
TOURING WITH THE BIG PINK BUS
In 2011, after being inspired by The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, Coffective’s founder, Ryan Comfort, traveled the country in a 40-foot, pink bus to learn from national, state, and local experts about the obstacles families face when trying to reach their breastfeeding goals.
It only took a few stops on the tour to be overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the problem, and how it manifested differently across the country based on local dynamics.
Still, Ryan was equally inspired by the unyielding passion of those he met, and their desire to help improve the health of their communities.
After hearing the wide range of perspectives along the bus tour, Ryan realized the need was not to build a new community, but to support the existing communities in working together more effectively.
MATERIALS, MATERIALS, MATERIALS
Training & Tools Phase
Three common goals emerged during the bus tour: establish consistent breastfeeding messaging, implement evidence-based maternity care practices, and build referrals to community support organizations.
To achieve these shared goals, communities wanted consistent resources to educate staff, pregnant women, and new families. It was during this time that we developed the bulk of our iconic materials, including training, handouts, posters, and a mobile app.
We soon realized simply providing training and tools wasn’t enough. Materials alone would not help in accomplishing goals if they weren’t being utilized to their full extent. People needed support with implementation.
FROM SUPPORT RESOURCES TO COACHING
Implementation Support Phase
FAQs, webinars, and implementation guides were developed. Disseminating implementation resources evolved into offering coaching, where organizations received personalized technical assistance on how to use Coffective materials and any additional resources the community chose to implement.
Progress toward the three shared goals was underway as frontline workers used training and tools more effectively. Soon, organizations were looking beyond their own walls, desiring coordination across all those who support families.
A PROCESS FOR WORKING TOGETHER
Community Coordination Phase
Complete community coordination is a big goal. It requires deeper connections, aligned strategies, and ongoing communication.
Coffective’s question became, “How can we support coordination at-scale, especially when communities have such unique existing relationships, opportunities, and challenges?”
This is where Coffective’s work really blossomed. We identified eight key partners present in most communities and broke down achieving coordination into five incremental steps. We built our Community Match platform for partners to work together, learn together, and create solutions together.