We can help you put data to work. The Community Research Institute at the Johnson Center offers a guiding approach and a variety of trusted research tools. Since 2001, we have equipped more than 200 organizations and community groups to use data for effective philanthropy and informed community change.

If your organization or group is new to using data, we can introduce you to good practices and tools that make it easier to sustain data-driven projects. If you are looking to go further with data to plan an initiative, track community indicators, or present original research to your community, we can provide consultation, platforms to collect and analyze data, training, and more.

Interactive Tools for Using Data

Data offers a powerful way to better understand your neighborhood, plan for your community’s future, give more effectively, or evaluate what’s working in your organization’s grantmaking strategies. But making sense of data and using it in planning, grantwriting, and more is not always easy.

That’s why we created a series of tools to help close the gap between the data that community members need and the change that they are working to make. These tools include data from government agencies, local organizations, community members, educational institutions, health systems, and other sources.

Community Profiles

Explore housing and economics data in Grand Rapids with this interactive mapping and demographic snapshot tool.


Michigan Demographics

Use the MAPAS platform to create and share color-coded maps across topics such as housing, education, and more.


Community Snapshots

These profiles show key demographic and other data for West Michigan neighborhoods and counties.


Not sure where to get started? Request a consultation.


Upcoming Events on Data & Community Research

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Online Tools

  • Learn Philanthropy

    A marketplace of knowledge, tools, and connections for newcomers. Navigate the field, learn with peers and thought leaders, and improve your grant making.

  • Community Profiles 2.0

    Explore housing and economics data in Grand Rapids with this interactive mapping and demographic snapshot tool.

  • Our State of Generosity

    An online platform to share Michigan’s philanthropic history. Discover milestones that made the state a leader, and get tools for effective philanthropy.


Latest News in Data & Community Research

  • OSOG Logo New

    Letter from the Editor — Our State of Generosity

    Dear Reader, When 1972 dawned, Michigan’s philanthropic sector was significant, but largely unorganized. The sector was divided into subsectors of health, education, human services, arts and culture, and religion, none of which communicated well with the others. Michigan’s government did little to encourage its givers and its volunteers. And higher

  • Potential blog 1

    Our State of Generosity — ourstateofgenerosity.org

    The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is launching Our State of Generosity (OSoG), an online platform that explores the past 40 years of Michigan’s philanthropic sector and its leadership. Ourstateofgenerosity.org is a joint effort of the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Nonprofit Association, Michigan Community Service Commission, and the Johnson

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