March 24, 2016 - 2:49pm

Recently, a client told me that when we collaborated to create a strategic plan for her former organization, it was one of the proudest moments of her time as Executive Director. A little stunned, I asked why. She shared three reasons:

February 25, 2016 - 4:22pm

The mid-point of any new initiative is a pivotal time, presenting us with the opportunity to look back and reflect on our early successes and challenges. Evaluations can play an important role in this process; the right kind can reveal valuable insights about what’s working and what’s not. More critically, evaluation can help us identify ways to address program challenges, refine our approach, and ultimately deepen our impact over time.

February 3, 2016 - 1:21pm

As 2016 kicked off, Michael Quinn Patton released an article in The Foundation Review titled: 

January 21, 2016 - 4:39pm

Social ImpactFocus. Finding your life purpose… that’s a tall order, and maybe not realistic (see this humorous article).

Technology of Participation
January 21, 2016 - 4:12pm

As a new year begins to unfold, we often find ourselves reflecting on our commitments and setting new goals. That process of reflection can be as powerful for organizations as it can for individuals. Strategic planning for the years ahead can help us to focus on what matters, creating the energy to move closer to our mission.

Reporting on Social Impact
December 1, 2015 - 3:50pm

Reporting on Social ImpactIs your organization a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) or considering becoming one? Soon, Minnesota PBCs will be filing their first Annual Benefit Reports and we want to make sure they are prepared!

Effective Outreach & Recruitment Strategies
November 24, 2015 - 10:47am

You might think outreach and recruitment strategies are important for political activists, community organizers, and awareness campaigns. But they are incredibly important to evaluators, too. Why?

Evaluation Capacity Building
November 24, 2015 - 9:43am

Evaluation Capacity BuildingHere at The Improve Group, we know that many organizations do not have the resources to hire outside evaluators to carry out their evaluations, nor do they have an in-house evaluator. Helping organizations build their evaluation capacity fits well within our mission and values and is reflected in most of the work we do.

25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
October 28, 2015 - 9:15am

ADA 25 Year AnniversaryTwenty five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) revolutionized the way our country includes and honors people with disabilities.

October 22, 2015 - 12:38pm

Michael Quinn Patton Opening RemarksHow do you evaluate initiatives that are trying to address complex social problems? When multiple partners and strategies are involved, how do you determine which efforts were the most effective? At The Improve Group, we’ve been exploring one extremely promising approach that can be used to answer those questions. It’s called outcome harvesting.