The Census matters to all of us—it tells the government how to distribute hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. As evaluators, we also frequently rely on Census data in our projects to understand the composition of a community—and we’re not ashamed to call ourselves “Census nerds”! As a mission-driven organization working to build a better world, The Improve Group is also paying close attention to barriers to a complete count in 2020.
Hi! I’m Christen Pentek and in this month’s IG-ology I want to talk about how evaluators can ensure validity in their work. For me validation brings to mind conversation about details that matter. And it evokes the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone.
Some funders are increasing their expectations for rigorous evaluation approaches, making grant seeking and management increasingly complex and competitive. Perhaps your organization has been surprised to miss out on a grant because the funder found your evaluation plan to be insufficient or because you didn't make use of evaluation data to make the case for your project. When done well, evaluation can be a powerful tool for creating compelling grant proposals and aligning your work with funder priorities.
Do you remember the last time you engaged with a Minnesota state agency to give input on a public policy decision? Did you feel heard?
An effort by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) aims to make quality civic engagement more common—and more meaningful. The Improve Group was excited to play an important role in this effort by helping to develop an evaluation framework to measure civic engagement.
The Improve Group recently partnered with Highland Friendship Club (HFC), a St. Paul organization devoted to creating opportunities for people with disabilities to make friends, connect with their communities, and learn life skills. We are excited to share a guest column from HFC Executive Director Dan Reed about our work together.
Happy 2019! Here in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the weather has turned chilly, we’re reflecting on last year and turning to our hopes and goals for 2019.
As 2018 comes to a close, we at IG are enjoying reflecting on a full, successful, and transformative year. As you may remember, we proclaimed 2018 the Year of Mindfulness. We found mindfulness to be a helpful tool as we grew as a staff, restructured our project teams, and relied on each other through challenges and busy times. With that in mind, here are our top 10 mindful moments from this year …