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Data Goes Hyper-Local in Grand Rapids

by Steve Wilson

My early career experiences with nonprofits leading local community and economic development created a perfect pathway for me to enter place-based philanthropy. Back then, I often looked to local foundations to provide both support and leadership as we envisioned future infrastructure needs.

Nearly 15 years ago, as I rode …

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Unnatural Disasters: Can Nonprofit Governance Promote Recovery in Detroit and Flint?

by Davia Cox Downey

Over the past two years, my research partner, Sarah Reckhow of Michigan State University and I have explored the concept of disaster, whether natural or man-made, to examine how these types of events impact collaboration between local government and nonprofit organizations and …

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The Giving USA 2018 Report is Out, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Could Reshape 2019’s Results

by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University

Giving USA is the longest-running, most comprehensive annual report on charitable giving in the United States. The report was first created in 1956 by the American Association of Fundraising …

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Data Shows Nonprofits Can Be Real Power Hitters When It Comes to Voter Engagement

by Greg Cameron

Much like baseball — where the metrics of wins, losses, and averages become the fodder for fan clubs and arguments across the nation — data and numbers also play a big a role in how Americans talk about our elections. …

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Just Another Lab Mouse: Choosing Social Media Metrics that Matter

by Tory Martin

Social media has become a tool of nearly incalculable value to nonprofits and their causes. Channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a cost-effective way for us to reach the people we serve, the communities we hope to shape, and the donors and volunteers …

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Recruiting and Retaining Staff Through Better Benchmarking Data

by Brittany Kienker

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 to …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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