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Benefits of Philanthropy-Consulting Partnerships

April 13, 2015

To accompany our Foundation Review article, we’re doing a series of mini-infographics on philanthropy-consulting partnerships. Why engage in a philanthropy-consulting partnership? Here’s our answer:

By Natalie Blackmur


  • Consultants often reach out to one another in order to take on a project they couldn’t take on alone. This gives each consultant experience he or she wouldn’t otherwise have.
  • For funders, not only do they have a wider pool of knowledge from the consulting partnership, but that knowledge comes from diverse perspectives and can inform the work ... Learn more »

The Two Types of Philanthropy-Consulting Partnerships

April 9, 2015

Over the years we’ve had both productive and challenging experiences working with other consultants on philanthropy projects. Based on these experiences, and in talking with other consultants in the field, we realized there’s a noticeable gap in the literature on how to navigate these philanthropy-consulting partnerships.

This prompted us to write an article for the Foundation Review to spark the conversation on how consulting partnerships, in supporting philanthropy, take different forms and have their own set of benefits and challenges. This is the first in a series of mini-infographics to accompany the article. First up: the types of ... Learn more »

Meet Our New Director, Anjie Rosga!

By Natalie Blackmur

As part of welcoming our new director, Anjie Rosga, to the Informing Change family, I sat down with her to chat about what she’s bringing to our practice, why she’s committed to evaluation and learning and what makes the Bay Area home for her.

What most excites you about working at Informing Change?

The way Informing Change aligns its mission and values externally and internally makes it a great place to work. I’m excited to have a group of incredibly talented colleagues and be able to build team relationships across projects—I’m almost embarrassed when I go home and gush to my partner ... Learn more »

Sample Size, Kids and Bears, Oh My: Part Two

Sample Size and Representativeness

By Sheila Walsh

When it comes to how big a survey sample should be, a couple of factors come into play. In my last post, I talked about the importance of power in statistical significance tests. In sum: a bigger sample is usually better—there’s more of an opportunity to discern relationships.

However, if we have a big sample but only a few respondents represent our target population, then we can’t derive much meaning from our results. Let’s revisit one of our examples from the previous post. We conducted a survey about food preferences with 100 bears and 100 kids:

Learn more »

Sample Size, Kids and Bears, Oh My: Part One

Sample Size and Power

By Sheila Wilcox

I get this question all the time: “How many survey respondents do we need?”

The short answer: as many as resources allow.

Here’s the long answer:

There are two aspects that play into how big your sample size should be: statistical significance and representativeness. Today, let’s talk about statistical significance.

For example, let’s find out if American bears and kids like the same foods. We collected data from 10 bears and 10 kids and found the following:

 chart 1Learn more »

The Eye of the Innovation Storm

By Regina Sheridan

I live in the eye of an innovative storm. The push for innovative thinking and “disruptive” technologies is almost palpable in the San Francisco Bay Area. With Silicon Valley heavyweights churning out new technologies, top-tier universities training young professionals with skills of the future, and leading healthcare institutions pioneering cutting-edge research, I am often amazed by the brilliant ideas introduced to the public. Innovation is increasingly being looked to as a way to solve some of society’s most difficult problems, so I’m not surprised that the push for innovation has become more and more visible in the healthcare ... Learn more »

Celebrating International Women’s Day: Giving Thanks for our Female Leadership

By Amanda Guslani

As many individuals and organizations around the world continue to celebrate Intentional Women’s Day, I’m personally reminded of how our clients and colleagues inspire change for women around the world. At Informing Change we work with our partners in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to address issues of access in education, health, leadership, and beyond, including many organizations that specifically focus on equity and inclusion for women and girls. In addition to being inspired by our clients, I am also incredibly thankful to work at a woman owned and operated company. This year I have decided to honor ... Learn more »

Civic Engagement: Acts both Big & Small

By Naomi Orensten

Much of our work here at Informing Change is focused on civic engagement and volunteerism. Our clients utilize civic engagement strategies to develop leaders, change public policy, promote cross-sector collaboration, and more. They embrace volunteerism as a tool for social change, to improve people’s lives and to make a difference in our communities.

So, it’s not a surprise that sometimes these terms—civic engagement and volunteerism—are perceived as so lofty, that it can be hard to fathom integrating them our day-to-day lives. Or, we can forget how much they are indeed a part of our everyday lives.

Lately I’ve been reminded ... Learn more »

2013 in Review: Informing Change Near and Far

By Evan A. Gattozzi

What a year it has been! 2013 ushered Informing Change into our new look and name, taking us across the U.S. to work with you—our clients—to advance your missions and create change. Here are some highlights of our travels and learnings.

We hit the road on a three-city tour with our partner, ChangeCraft (formerly the Center for Leadership Initiatives), and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). The tour brought together stakeholders from across the Reform movement to think collectively and provide input on the URJ’s youth engagement strategy moving forward. We were reminded of the many benefits that ... Learn more »

Cooking Up Successful Long-term Partnerships

By Kim Ammann Howard

Strong partnerships with our clients are essential to our collective success. This is especially true with long-term evaluations, which unfold over time as their focus, needs and contexts change. For these partnerships to be most effective, we have noted a few essentials ingredients.

Essential Ingredient #1: Thought Partnership

It is critical that both the client and evaluator approach one another as thought partners, regardless of their specific roles. Partnerships must be built on mutual trust and respect with different perspectives and experiences recognized and utilized. This sets the stage for direct, transparent, and sometimes difficult but necessary conversations ... Learn more »

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