To my colleagues, I’m a lot of things. I’m louder than neon colors, as positive as a proton, and a wrestling super fan. But not all my coworkers know that I spent seven years in Minnesota’s foster care system. Interestingly enough, my status as a foster youth also led me to discovering a career I love at The Improve Group.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, with a theme this year of “Embrace Your Voice.” Explaining this theme, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says “The things you say every day send a message about your beliefs and values.
Do you follow IG on social media? If so, you may have noticed pictures of fluorescent colored walls covered with numerous half-sheets. This is a Sticky Wall - we use it when facilitating groups to come to consensus. In April's IG-ology, our consultants Sara McGarraugh and Nick Stilp have a little fun as they demonstrate some common ways to use it.
You’ve read a lot about the Olmstead Quality of Life survey here in the past year, and it was recently featured in the Star Tribune. This article features the findings from our statewide effort to reach over 2,000 people with disabilities. The survey serves as a baseline for the state as it makes progress towards creating more integrated settings and improving quality of life for people with disabilities. We are glad to see this important issue getting attention and we are proud to be an ongoing partner with the State in measuring the progress towards this goal.
As a registered Public Benefit Corporation with the State of Minnesota, each year we report on our impact. We recently completed our 2017 report outlining how we unleashed the power of IG to influence social change, used innovative strategies to meet communities’ needs, and aligned our internal operations with our goals. Check out the report for more on these impacts, and a preview of what we have in store for the rest of 2018!
Earlier this month, nearly 130 professionals working in the social impact ecosystem gathered for the first ever ConnectUp! MN summit. Envisioned by Y. Elaine Rasmussen and her colleagues at the Social Impact Strategies Group, ConnectUp! MN brought together impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and support organizations to build relationships and advance their common interests.
Empowerment evaluation is one way an organization and their stakeholders can work with an external evaluator. With this approach, the evaluator acts as a coach or critical friend to an organization that is evaluating their own program or other efforts. With empowerment evaluation, we’re a bit more in the background, providing training, resources, and advice along the way.
This Valentine’s Day, we reflected on the love we all share: A love for evaluation! Our excitement for this important field drives us and makes us passionate about doing excellent work and building clients’ capacity for evaluation. From uplifting voices to analyzing data, we all have our different reasons for loving evaluation. Without further ado, read on as our consultants answer why they love evaluation.
Happy 2018! Many of you may have noticed a theme of mindfulness in our holiday cards—just the beginning of our year-long focus. We see mindfulness and our IG value of thoughtfulness as being closely related: to be thoughtful is to be reflective and present, in both relationships and our work. We plan to incorporate mindfulness in different ways throughout the year, including …