About Imagine Forsyth
Imagine Forsyth (iF) starts with us – our family, our neighbors, our community – our dreams for the future. We each bring something valuable to the table. And when we invest our time, resources, and energy in the community, we all benefit from stronger relationships, stronger neighborhoods, and stronger futures.
Forsyth County is a diverse community of vibrant, healthy, and strong neighborhoods with engaged residents who share a common purpose of collective well-being.
Our purpose is to promote and facilitate individual and family stability in health, housing, food security, and income through resident-driven collective efforts.
What is iF?
Imagine Forsyth (iF) is a resident-directed partnership between the community, business, non-profit, civic, and philanthropic organizations whose programs and initiatives focus on improving outcomes for people in Forsyth County. Our work takes a fresh approach to improving the ways we communicate, collaborate, and align community resources, always with the focus of improving neighborhood-level outcomes around food access, health and wellness, income and employment, and housing.
Imagine Forsyth (iF) began as Collaborating for Clients (C4C), with grant funding provided to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC through Feeding America from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the United Way of Forsyth County, and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The goal of these grants was to establish system-wide, resident-led and directed collaboration across agencies in Forsyth County, based on the popular Collective Impact model. The focus areas for this collaboration were identified as food access, health and wellness, income and employment, and housing and neighborhood.
An early priority was to convene the organizations working in the community across iF’s focus areas. To accomplish this,Second Harvest Food Bank cultivated an Advisory Table with representatives of these organizations. The Advisory Table worked with staff to carry out a preliminary analysis of community data, which became the basis of a Community Design Institute. The Community Design Institute was a facilitated event attended by a broad range of community members. At this event, community members reviewed the results of the analysis, discussed what this new kind of collaborative work could look like in Forsyth County, and worked together to define next steps.
Above: Slideshow of photos from the Community Design Institute.
As a direct result of the Community Design Institute, iF selected Boston-Thurmond and Greater Cleveland Avenue as focus neighborhoods. The topic of food access was selected for the theme of iF’s first Focus Area Network — a broad group of community members, organization staff, practitioners, and community leaders convened to communicate and collaborate on positive systems change.
Since its inception, the food access FAN launched and carried out a food box delivery pilot in the Greater Cleveland Avenue neighborhood. The initial pilot cycle included eight families, who considered the pilot to be valuable and useful.
Progress as of Fall 2017
launched the second cycle of the food box delivery pilot, which has been scaled to serve more families
brought on additional staff to increase capacity for FAN facilitation and community engagement
New Name & Branding
rebranded from C4C to Imagine Forsyth and launched a public website
2018 - 2019
Launch additional FANs around health & wellness, income & employment, and housing & neighborhood.
Imagine Forsyth is a resident-directed partnership of the organizations who are doing work in our focus neighborhoods. Our partner organizations each have a seat at the leadership table.