Key Points

· This article uses the childhood experience of learning how to play Double Dutch jump rope as an allegory to navigating complicated community leadership through civic engagement.

· There is both an art and a science to deciding when and why to work with a broad base of stakeholders to attempt comprehensive community change.

· The key lessons are the following: (1) follow the noise and find the excitement, (2) ask questions and get into conversations, (3) set the rules of the game, 4) keep score, 5) get the right equipment and players, 6) know when to jump in and when to jump out, and 7) find the courage to succeed.

· By consistently applying standard yet flexible tools that address qualitative and quantitative factors; community support; and sustainability, foundations can create the crucial community conditions for impact.

Open Access