The Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plant Health (SBC) has been awarded $721,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service to fund a two-year project to conduct the Food for Progress Post-Project Sustainability Assessment.
Several of us at IG are reflecting on a great week of learning and connecting at the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC earlier this month. We attend every year to learn, and to share our lessons learned, with fellow evaluators. We had so much fun meeting and learning from fellow lifelong students of evaluation! We also noticed several themes emerge:
Evaluation = learning
A little over a year ago, the leadership team from Compatible Technology International (CTI) attended a presentation on Measurement and Evaluation by The Improve Group (IG) Founder & CEO, Leah Goldstein Moses, and Chief Practice Officer, Rebecca Stewart, at the Minnesota International NGO Network’s annual IDEA Summit. A St. Paul, Minnesota-based nonprofit, CTI is dedicated to helping families in developing countries access innovative farming tools so they can process their harvest more sustainably and bring their crops to market.
This month, we said a big thank you and good luck to Samantha Hagel—but not goodbye. After more than nine years with The Improve Group, including as our office manager, business manager, and most recently as our Chief Human Resources Officer, Samantha is moving to new adventures—including as a consultant to us as we launch several exciting new initiatives for our team.
I will miss working with Samantha immensely. Through her leadership, The Improve Group matured from a small, scrappy consulting company to an established firm. Some of the successes she helped us achieve are:
Did you know October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month? While domestic violence can happen any day of the year, we wanted to take some time this month to focus on the important work being done in this field, including by many of our clients.
Training from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) is about to get a lot more interactive with the addition of an e-Learning Studio. We appreciate our partnership with MCN, which goes back more than a decade, and stems from our shared value of building the capacity of people and organizations in the nonprofit sector. As a longtime partner of MCN, we cannot wait to see the new opportunities this addition will bring to light.
Sowing the Seeds of Success
Thoughtful planning process yields better results for a new program at the MDA
Last spring, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) partnered with The Improve Group (IG) on a strategic planning process to implement a
The Olmstead Quality of Life Survey has reached a major milestone—more than 1,100 completed surveys out of the goal of 2,000. The survey—the largest of its kind ever conducted on a statewide basis—aims to better understand how people living with disabilities throughout Minnesota feel about their quality of life and to measure change over time.
Evaluation Firm Hires, Promotes Key Staff
The Improve Group (IG) is pleased to announce several key changes to the company’s top leadership. The new structure will allow IG to continue providing excellent client service while building a solid infrastructure to carry out our strategic goals: Expand our tools and services to meet community needs; lead with a joyful and powerful team; and use our practice to promote positive social change.
Although summer has reached the halfway mark, we can’t let it go by without reflecting on the experiences of our recent interns—Audrey McIntyre and Michael Prideaux.
Our interns over the 2016-17 academic year, Audrey and Michael, worked on team projects for the Angel Foundation, the Highland Friendship Club, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and our work with Minnesota’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) grantees.
Both Audrey and Michael said that interaction with clients and involvement in project work were highlights of their internships.