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.


Michigan DemographicsMAPAS

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


Community SnapshotsCommunity Profiles

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


Not sure where to get started? Request a consultation.


Upcoming Johnson Center Events

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Online Tools

  • VoiceGR

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

  • LearnPhilanthropy

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

  • 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.

  • Community Profiles 2.0

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


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    by Jason Franklin, Ph.D., W.K. Kellogg Chair for Community Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy Community philanthropies have been among the fastest growing institutional forms of giving around the globe. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of community foundations grew by 86 percent. This made for over 1,800 foundations granting more

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