December 2014
Insights on Change

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
As the year comes to a close, we want to express how thankful we are for all of you who work to create positive changes in our communities with a spirit of learning and reflection. In this newsletter, we reflect on our own work, bringing you lessons and findings from some projects we're proud of from the past year. See you in 2015!
From the Blog: 
Sample Size, Kids and Bears, Oh My!
 
Clients often ask, "How many survey respondents do we need?" We often answer "As many as resources allow," but that's a short answer to a question that really has to do with 
statistical significance and how representative your sample is. 
Curious about the longer answer? Read part one of it here in a blog post by Senior Associate Sheila Wilcox (and yes, there are kids and bears).
Awarding Innovation: An Assessment of the MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media and Learning Competition
 
By Alejandro Escamilla

The MacArthur Foundation approached us in 2013 to help them examine the processes and impacts of the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Competition. More accessible and available digital media have changed the ways young people learn, socialize, play and engage in civic life. To understand how learning environments and institutions should transform in response to these changes, the Competition identifies innovators and invests in prototypes of games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, social networks, digital badge platforms and other projects that aim to create relevant learning opportunities for youth that prepare them for future success. Through our evaluation, we found that the Competition left a lasting impression on awardees and their projects, brought digital media and learning to a wider audience and spurred a national conversation on DML. For more on our findings, check out the full report.


Exploring the Ecosystem of Support for Individual Artists & Small Arts Organizations

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation came to us and our partner on this project, Olive Grove, with a particular funder-grantee relationship: while they are one of the largest institutional funders of the performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, they do not directly fund small arts organizations or individual artists. Instead, the Foundation funds intermediary organizations who regrant the Foundation's funds along with their own and funds from other sources.

 

Working with Olive Grove, we examined the San Francisco Bay Area arts ecosystem and how this regranting strategy worked within it. The Foundation has already implemented several of our recommendations by deepening funding for current regranting intermediaries and exploring regranting partners in under-served communities. The full report contains insights on how traditional frameworks that separate artistic styles are changing, and factors determining the arts nonprofit sector's sustainability.

 

 

Welcome Tina, Natalie and Dina!
It's official: 31% of Informing Change staff have names that end in "-ina." While we may be beyond tickled by name games, we're even more thrilled to welcome new faces to Informing Change. Tina Yokoyama, Administrative Coordinator, keeps our office and operations running smoothly, Natalie Blackmur, Communications Coordinator, wrangles our words and our products into shape and Dina de Veer, our newest Associate, transforms data into findings for our clients. 
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