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 ProfilesCommunity Profiles 2.0

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

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Michigan DemographicsMAPAS

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

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Community SnapshotsCommunity Profiles

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

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Not sure where to get started? Request a consultation.

 

Online Tools

  • VoiceGR

    An annual community survey designed uniquely to connect demographics with opinions and perceptions of greater Grand Rapids area residents.

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  • LearnPhilanthropy

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

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  • 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.

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  • Community Profiles 2.0

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

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Latest News in Data & Community Research

  • Closing Space for Civil Society

    by Jason Franklin, Ph.D. Last month I joined over 400 leaders from 60 countries at the first Global Community Philanthropy Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a powerful gathering where we explored the future of collective giving as an approach to build local capacity and assets, strengthen social trust,

  • Celebrating 25 Years of Philanthropy

    by Kyle Caldwell In 1992, Grand Valley State University established what has become one of the most well-respected centers for philanthropy in the nation. Throughout its 25-year history, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy has been at the forefront of innovation in engaged philanthropy. The center works and partners

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