Photo: Job Candidates

Recruiting and Retaining Staff Through Better Benchmarking Data

by Brittany Kienker, Ph.D.

Foundations across the country are looking for ways to use data to make sound decisions, show impact, and be better stewards of their own resources. Likewise, nonprofits are using data to justify their operational and programmatic costs, even as they become increasingly lean and efficient …

Continue reading

Photo: 2018 Neighborhood Leadership Academy participants

In Their Own Words: Graduates of the Inaugural Grand Rapids Neighborhood Leadership Academy Speak About Their Experiences

At the Johnson Center, we see community engagement itself as a form of philanthropy: a giving of time, talent, and treasure for the betterment of society and your neighbors.

And we’re not alone in this philosophy. This past January, the …

Continue reading

Listening Carefully: An Argument for Considering All the Data

by Kevin Bolduc

Field Focus: Data and the Sector is intended to offer us all the opportunity to consider the ways that numbers, statistics, and trends both impact and inform the way we do our jobs. But put another way, we’re also talking about “feedback,” the qualitative data …

Continue reading

My Foundation for Community Engagement

by Kyle Caldwell

Kyle Caldwell, Executive Director of the Johnson Center, was recently named to the Board of Trustees of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF). Kyle took this opportunity to reflect on his long history with GRCF and the importance of community foundations in civic life and philanthropy.
“Community foundations serve as …

Continue reading

Photo: Woman looking at data on laptop

How to Find Data for Nonprofit Research

by Huafang Li

To conduct research on nonprofit organizations, we need data. But where can we find data that suit our research purposes? Some researchers seemed to hold the idea that the scarcity of data is one of the biggest challenges for making research progress. In this short piece, …

Continue reading

IMAGE: Data Artwork

Data and the Sector: Using Data to Drive Effective Philanthropy

by Teri Behrens, Ph.D.

When we talk about the role of data in philanthropy, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is evaluation. The sector has become very focused on measuring outcomes and impact — and that is a good thing. However, that’s …

Continue reading

Photo: U.S. Capitol Building

Advocating for the Sector: Rob Collier on Foundations on the Hill

by Rob Collier, President & CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations

Episode 2 of Field Notes in Philanthropy, “Sittin’ Here on Capitol Hill,” explores the many ways foundations of all kinds can impact federal, state, and local policy. Our conversation was sparked by the convening, this week, …

Continue reading

What trends will affect your work in 2018?

The nonprofit sector in the United States employs approximately one in 10 workers in the country, and the field is changing quickly. A group of experts and thought leaders in the nonprofit sector at Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy have examined changes in the field …

Continue reading

11 Trends for 2018
What are the trends that will be affecting your work in 2018?

Drawing on our local, national, and international research, tool development, training, and data work, leaders from the Johnson Center have identified 11 key trends that will impact the work of both grantmakers or nonprofit leaders in the months and …

Continue reading

11 Trends for 2018
What are the trends that will be affecting your work in 2018?

Drawing on our local, national, and international research, tool development, training, and data work, leaders from the Johnson Center have identified 11 key trends that will impact the work of both grantmakers or nonprofit leaders in the months and …

Continue reading