Graphic of an animal meditating with a title that states "Stay Mindful This Conference Season"
September 25, 2018 - 10:48am

For many of us, the upcoming months are full of conferences. It’s an exciting time—this flurry of activity can easily make one want to learn everything! Meet everyone! Network everywhere! But all too often, conferences can leave us feeling overwhelmed with information.

Headshot of Nick Stilp
September 25, 2018 - 10:31am

In reference to a hectic conference season, IG Associate Consultant Nick Stilp shares that "leveraging mindfulness properly during a conference can revitalize mental clarity and open up the cognitive resources needed for learning and critical thinking."

For this month’s IG-Ology, Nick Stilp details his mindfulness journey and provides some simple practices you can use to stay mindful and present this conference season. With these tips, ideally, by the end of the day, you won’t experience that conference drain and fatigue that we are all too familiar with.

Graphic image that states "A Tale of Two Surveys." The image is split in half. On one side there is an icon of a traditional survey, on the other side, an icon of a person interviewing another person to gather data.
August 27, 2018 - 11:19am

Surveys can take all shapes and sizes. And like any data collection, they require adaptability throughout the process. Two statewide surveys of the same number of people illustrate how surveys look differently—and provide different insights—based on your core principles.

Graphic image that includes various icons of things you would find at a State Fair, such as food, farm animals, and rides. The text states "Evaluation at the State Fair!"
August 27, 2018 - 11:09am

Here at The Improve Group we always look forward to State Fair season. And being evaluators, we decided to ask IGers what they would like to evaluate at the Minnesota State Fair. Check out how fun evaluation can be when combined with fried food, a plethora of dairy, animals, and warm weather!

If you could evaluate one thing at the State Fair, what would it be?

Russell Barnes: Does one Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar give you more cookies than the other? 

Headshot of Amy Cyr
August 27, 2018 - 10:58am

Amy Cyr HeadshotHi, I’m Amy Cyr, a Senior Consultant at IG. For this month’s IG-Ology, I want to answer a question that comes up a lot with qualitative analysis: “Where do I start?” While several considerations go into planning an analysis approach, a place I like to start is with the evaluation or research questions. How specific are they?

Collage of headshots of all of our new staff members - Brita Blesi, Ashley Boat, Colleen Casey, Jacqueline Frazier, Moira Gaidzanwa, Isabel Marsh, James Randle, and Alyssa Scott
July 31, 2018 - 12:41pm

It has been an exciting first half of the year here at The Improve Group as we welcomed several new employees! We continue to see growth in our work and in our clients’ needs - and this new cohort of IG-ers brings exciting new talents and experiences that will help meet those needs. Please join us in welcoming:

Headshot of Jill Lipski Cain
July 31, 2018 - 12:34pm

Jill Lipski Cain HeadshotHi, I’m Jill Lipski Cain, a Managing Consultant here at IG. This month, I want to tell you about one of IG’s important tools in collaborative, participatory, utilization-focused evaluation projects—an emerging findings meeting.

July 9, 2018 - 4:52pm

Working in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) and The Improve Group, the University of Minnesota's Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) has identified the three closed Food for Progress agriculture assistance projects for

Visual image that says "Client Spotlight: Second Harvest Heartland, By Claire Stoscheck" and features the logo for Second Harvest Heartland
June 26, 2018 - 6:59pm

Did you know June is National Hunger Awareness Month? According to the World Food Program, there are more hungry people in the world than in the combined populations of the U.S., Canada, and the European Union.

Example of a logic model
June 26, 2018 - 10:20am

Courtney Clingan HeadshotHi!