Graphic that says "Census 2020 - Lets ensure a complete count!"
March 21, 2019 - 1:58pm

The Census matters to all of us—it tells the government how to distribute hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. As evaluators, we also frequently rely on Census data in our projects to understand the composition of a community—and we’re not ashamed to call ourselves “Census nerds”! As a mission-driven organization working to build a better world, The Improve Group is also paying close attention to barriers to a complete count in 2020.

Headshot of Christen Pentek
March 21, 2019 - 1:47pm

Christen Pentek HeadshotHi! I’m Christen Pentek and in this month’s IG-ology I want to talk about how evaluators can ensure validity in their work. For me validation brings to mind conversation about details that matter. And it evokes the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone.

Image that says "Evaluation for Grantseekers" and includes icons related to data collection and analysis
February 28, 2019 - 10:36am

Some funders are increasing their expectations for rigorous evaluation approaches, making grant seeking and management increasingly complex and competitive. Perhaps your organization has been surprised to miss out on a grant because the funder found your evaluation plan to be insufficient or because you didn't make use of evaluation data to make the case for your project. When done well, evaluation can be a powerful tool for creating compelling grant proposals and aligning your work with funder priorities.

A group of people are feeling engaged as they review a document together
February 27, 2019 - 5:20pm

Do you remember the last time you engaged with a Minnesota state agency to give input on a public policy decision? Did you feel heard?

An effort by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) aims to make quality civic engagement more common—and more meaningful. The Improve Group was excited to play an important role in this effort by helping to develop an evaluation framework to measure civic engagement.

Highland Friendship Club Logo
February 26, 2019 - 6:22pm

The Improve Group recently partnered with Highland Friendship Club (HFC), a St. Paul organization devoted to creating opportunities for people with disabilities to make friends, connect with their communities, and learn life skills. We are excited to share a guest column from HFC Executive Director Dan Reed about our work together.

An image design of the word "IG-ology" that includes scientific icons to depict each letter.
February 26, 2019 - 6:13pm

Hello! We are Kylie Nicholas and Colleen Casey, IG consultants and what we like to call “reflective practitioners” in accessibility standards.

Image of Story Stitch, including the back side of the story and stitch cards included with the game
January 30, 2019 - 11:05am
Hello! I am Claire Stoscheck, a Senior Consultant at IG. For this month’s IG-ology, and in honor of our focus on inclusiveness, I want to tell you about Story Stitch. This is a guided group activity designed by Green Card Voices that connects and builds empathy between people of different cultural backgrounds. The activity revolves around storytelling, a powerful tool for building connections, which is key in our work and the work of many of our clients.
A group of women from different backgrounds stand together with their arms around each other
January 29, 2019 - 4:20pm

Happy 2019! Here in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the weather has turned chilly, we’re reflecting on last year and turning to our hopes and goals for 2019.

Top 10 Mindful Moments of 2018
December 19, 2018 - 1:57pm

As 2018 comes to a close, we at IG are enjoying reflecting on a full, successful, and transformative year. As you may remember, we proclaimed 2018 the Year of Mindfulness. We found mindfulness to be a helpful tool as we grew as a staff, restructured our project teams, and relied on each other through challenges and busy times. With that in mind, here are our top 10 mindful moments from this year …

Headshot of Kayla Meyers
December 19, 2018 - 1:42pm

Headshot of Kayla MeyersHi! I’m Kayla Meyers, a senior consultant here at IG.