The Coverpage for our 2018 Annual Report
April 19, 2019 - 12:39pm

As a registered Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) with the State of Minnesota, each year we report on our impact. Our 2018 report details how we made progress toward our three strategic goals: 

The Improve Group logo
March 26, 2019 - 5:24pm

Do you spend too much time digging through your program data to answer specific questions? Are you looking for a better way to turn your data into relevant, easily-digestible information?

We often work with clients to build streamlined data systems that help them organize and dive in to relevant data at the click of a button. For example, say you work for a program that serves multiple schools within several school districts. With a streamlined system, you could easily pull the data by site, grade, or demographic group and run cross tabulations to quickly answer questions at hand.

Graphic that says "Census 2020 - Lets ensure a complete count!"
March 21, 2019 - 1:58pm

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.

Headshot of Christen Pentek
March 21, 2019 - 1:47pm

Christen Pentek HeadshotHi! 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.

Image that says "Evaluation for Grantseekers" and includes icons related to data collection and analysis
February 28, 2019 - 10:36am

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.

A group of people are feeling engaged as they review a document together
February 27, 2019 - 5:20pm

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.

Highland Friendship Club Logo
February 26, 2019 - 6:22pm

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.

An image design of the word "IG-ology" that includes scientific icons to depict each letter.
February 26, 2019 - 6:13pm

Hello! We are Kylie Nicholas and Colleen Casey, IG consultants and what we like to call “reflective practitioners” in accessibility standards.

Image of Story Stitch, including the back side of the story and stitch cards included with the game
January 30, 2019 - 11:05am
Hello! I am Claire Stoscheck, a Senior Consultant at IG. For this month’s IG-ology, and in honor of our focus on inclusiveness, I want to tell you about Story Stitch. This is a guided group activity designed by Green Card Voices that connects and builds empathy between people of different cultural backgrounds. The activity revolves around storytelling, a powerful tool for building connections, which is key in our work and the work of many of our clients.
A group of women from different backgrounds stand together with their arms around each other
January 29, 2019 - 4:20pm

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.