Prosper Waco

Launched in 2015, Prosper Waco strives to build an environment where every member of the Waco community can measurably improve their education, health, and financial security. Across their 11 Working Groups, Prosper Waco brings together over 70 influential stakeholders in McLennan County.

What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?

Shared Purpose

  • Prosper Waco has a shared vision focusing on health, education, and financial security; they use the National Academy of Medicine, WHO, and evidenced-based literature to identify priority focus areas.
  • They use the “collaborative approach to public goods investment” model.
  • Their focus areas have been adopted by the City of Waco and incorporated into the goals of both United Way of Waco-McLennan County and Baylor Solid Gold Neighbor.


  • Prosper Waco serves as the backbone organizations and manages the initiative partners.
  • The Board of Directors, comprised of cross-sector leaders and community members, provides governance and vision.
  • Monthly steering team meetings with very interdisciplinary team of people from participating organizations.
  • The Leadership Council team provides guidance and supports the working groups.


  • Prosper Waco adopting the “Results-Based Accountability Principles” for common language has given the community a joint means of assessment and joint or cross-sector data sharing agreements.
  • Staff actively tracks the progress of each goal within education, health, and financial security.
  • Waco Round Table outlines every indicator tracked in relation to desired results, with the data publicly available,
  • “Confidentiality and liability issues” of health care make data sharing “tricky.”

Finance and Sustainability

  • Hospital partners were expected to be “robust investment partners for [the coalition], but could not invest due to impact of COVID.”
  • The health plans, city, and county have been primary funders to advance the coalition.
  • Their grant structures have been built for sustainability.

Integration of Health Equity

  • Defines health equity as a world where every population has equal opportunity to realize optimal health for themselves 
  • Uses WHO definition of health and looks at disaggregated data to identify disparities in health outcomes
  • Uses evidence-based practices to address disparities such as training on biases in medical care, increasing access to care coordination, or prenatal care
  • Tracks 136 indicators at census tract level that measure disparity 

Community Trust and Accountability

  • Maintains active communication through calls, emails, texts, and Zoom meetings and follows up to let members know they were heard and recognized
  • Reports to the city of Waco every month, and reports impact progress to funders each quarter
  • Develop strategies for making the initiative accessible to community members in the highest-need neighborhoods in Waco through the Prosper Waco Community Engagement Council, which meets on a regular basis

Measures of Success

  • Programmatic impact level data (service utilization, ED visits, etc.) across health and well-being outcomes

Outcomes Achieved

  • Successfully launched a public data dashboard Waco Round Table putting power back in the hands of the greater Waco community
  • Pooled resources and funding support to partnering organizations