Skip to main content
publications

We're committed to sharing what we learn alongside our clients.

The reports and briefs we produce for our clients and our community are part of our effort to share what we know. The insight we’ve gleaned comes from rigorous and inclusive processes for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data, as well as deep partnership with our clients and their communities.
Case Studies in Distributed Leadership

We, in partnership with Open Mind Consulting and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, researched seven organizations to learn about how they share, collaborate on, and distribute leadership. Looking through the lens of decision making, we discovered that even among this small sample, the ways of distributing power, authority, and responsibility are myriad. Whether rotating leadership positions, leadership teams, or a practice of distributing leadership that transcends the entire organization, each organization approached sharing leadership from different angles. To understand this variation, we’ve… Learn more

Download
CJP Boston Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Initiative Evaluation: Phase 3 Report (2017–18)

Informing Change has served as the local learning partner for five of ten Jewish Teen Initiatives in cities across the United States (Atlanta, Boston, Denver/Boulder, Los Angeles, and San Diego). These initiatives, supported by the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, constitute a series of experiments in developing and scaling innovative approaches to engaging Jewish teens. This document—Informing Change’s evaluation report for the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston—focuses on our research during the initiative’s third year (2017–18), while… Learn more

Download
Moishe House: 2018 Evaluation Findings

Moishe House supports over 60,000 young adults around the world in creating meaningful Jewish communities for their peers. As an organization deeply committed to ongoing learning and development, Moishe House leadership engages in in-depth evaluation of their flagship program every three years to understand the program’s overall impact and opportunities to better meet the needs and interests of their constituents. Moishe House engaged Informing Change for a second time in 2018 to evaluate their flagship programs—Moishe House and Moishe House… Learn more

Download
Oakland Leaf’s 2019–25 Strategic Plan

In 2017, we collaborated on a strategic planning and theory of change process with the nonprofit Oakland Leaf, which provides quality outside-of-school programming for underserved youth with an emphasis on art, wellness, leadership, literacy, and STEM. Informed by a landscape scan of similar organizations, rapid feedback interviews with an array of stakeholders, and a series of interactive and exploratory sessions with board and staff members, Informing Change produced a strategic plan to guide the organization’s direction and decision-making over the… Learn more

Download
An Evaluation of Youth Outside’s Outdoor Educators Institute (OEI)

Youth Outside strives to ensure that the lived experiences of all youth are honored as part of the outdoor experience. In service of this goal, in 2012 Youth Outside began OEI as a development program to empower young adults (ages 18–24) from underrepresented communities to become outdoor leaders, and to foster greater inclusion and culturally relevant leadership within the outdoor education, recreation, and environmental field. Our evaluation of OEI explored its impact on equity in outdoor leadership and employment, and… Learn more

Download
A Guide to Organizational Capacity Assessment Tools

There are dozens of organizational capacity assessment tools. How do you determine which one is right for your organization? We partnered with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Effective Philanthropy Group to scan the landscape of organizational capacity assessment tools and gather insights from organizational capacity professionals about the best ways to use them. A few things we learned: Adaptation is the norm.  No one tool is perfect, and adaptation helps ensure that people completing the tool understand its terminology… Learn more

Download
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department Year-End Report 2016–17

In 2016, Santa Clara County’s Behavioral Health Services Department (SCC BHSD) hired Informing Change to evaluate their School Linked Services initiative, currently implemented in 13 school districts. This initiative places at least one coordinator in each district to serve as the point of contact for students and families seeking referrals for wraparound services relating to behavioral and mental health, academic support, housing, food, immigration, and more. Ultimately, SCC BHSD wants to know how students receiving SLS are being impacted by… Learn more

Download
Movement Arts for Peaceful, Powerful, & Creative Young People: A Study of Artists-at-School Residency at Havenscourt

Destiny Arts Center provides creative development to young people based in movement arts, including but not limited to dance, martial arts, and other performance or movement-based art forms—both in and out of school time—throughout the Bay Area. In 2016, Destiny Arts Center partnered with Informing Change to develop a theory of change which outlines Destiny Arts Center’s target constituents, strategies, and anticipated short- and long-term outcomes as results of those strategies. We used an evaluation of  Destiny Arts Center’s  Artists-at-School Residency program… Learn more

Download
The Hard Work Behind the Magic of Camp: Results & Learnings from the FJC Specialty Camps Incubator II 

Building on the success of its first pilot cohort, the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) Specialty Camps Incubator II supported four new Jewish specialty camps in moving from merely ideas to actual, functioning camps. Funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation, the Incubator supported these camps based on the premise that combining Jewish camp values with specialty programs could draw more young people into the world of Jewish camp. To continue to test and refine this premise,… Learn more

Download
Expanded Learning for California’s Children

Over the course of its seven-year investment in improving after-school and summer learning programs (also known as expanded learning programs) for California’s K–12 students, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation invested in three linked strategies: creating models of high quality summer learning programs, cultivating a statewide network of technical assistance (TA) for expanded learning, and engaging stakeholders to champion expanded learning in local and statewide policy. Throughout this investment, Informing Change worked with the Foundation to understand how this theory of… Learn more

Download
Top-Level Learnings from a Seven-Year Investment in After-school and Summer Learning

This executive summary shares top level findings from our final evaluation report of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s seven-year investment in expanded learning. Using three linked strategies—creating models of high quality summer learning programs, cultivating a statewide network of technical assistance (TA) for expanded learning, and engaging stakeholders to champion expanded learning in local and statewide policy—the Foundation made significant progress in raising awareness for summer learning loss, advocating for solutions through summer learning, cultivating a network of support for summer… Learn more

Download
Building a Data-Driven Culture: The Heartbeat of Value-Based Care

In this case study, we draw upon our evaluation findings from the Safety Net Analytics Program (SNAP) to explore how safety net healthcare organizations can successfully create and sustain data-driven cultures. The work of gaining staff buy-in—let alone training staff in different aspects of data analytics—building data infrastructure and using data to make decisions often happens in fits and starts and requires ongoing support and strategy from all levels of the organization. We share examples from SNAP participants and surface… Learn more

Download
A Model for Improving Health Care Data Analytics

The Safety Net Analytics Program (SNAP), implemented by Center for Care Innovations and funded by California Health Care Foundation, was created to help safety net organizations develop a data-driven culture and to strengthen the people, processes and technology behind data analytics. SNAP engaged 20 grantee teams to grow and develop individual awareness and skills about data management practices with the ultimate goal of enhancing their organizations’ overall data analytics capabilities. This brief describes SNAP’s achievements and provides lessons for safety… Learn more

Download
How Analytics Transform a Health Home Model

The team for Contra Costa Health System’s (CCHS) Safety Net Analytics Program (SNAP) had a clear goal in mind: use data to predict and address the needs of CCHS’s most high-utilizing, vulnerable patients. Meeting these high utilizers’ needs requires a range of providers to coordinate both their services and the patient data that accompanies those services. This case study details the steps CCHS’s SNAP team took to strengthen their data analytics capabilities to realize this vision, and outlines key takeaways… Learn more

Download
Turning Data into Insight: Using Dashboards to Drive Action at All Levels

The vast sea of data available to safety net healthcare providers is only helpful if staff can interpret and use that data. Enter dashboards, which enable data-sharing among staff—from frontline to administrative staff and across all departments and sites—in a consistent, visually accessible way. As one of the most-used strategies for participants in the Safety Net Analytics Program (SNAP), dashboards can guide safety net organizations’ staff and their practices to become more effective across business operations, clinical care and patient… Learn more

Download
More Than Supply & Demand: The State of Technical Assistance for Expanded Learning Programs in California 

Expanded learning (i.e., after-school and summer learning) programs have immense potential to foster academic and social growth for students. To actualize this potential, a system of support in the form of technical assistance (TA) has emerged in California to help expanded learning providers sustain and improve their programs. Some expanded learning providers have made promising use of TA, while others have struggled to even access it. A collaboration with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, this brief explores the spectrum… Learn more

Download
Documenting the JRS Model

The early childhood years are a gateway into Jewish life for children and their families, and preschool is a prime time for young families to engage with the Jewish community. Seizing this opportunity, the JRS Initiative endeavors to build the field of Jewish early childhood education, enhance families’ engagement and integrate Jewish curriculum in preschools through coaching, mentoring and resource support for JRS educators. JRS educators, already part of their preschools’ community fabric, deepen Jewish learning in their schools by… Learn more

Download
Preparing the Next Generation of Health Center Leaders: The Experience of the Clinic Leadership Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program

As California faces the challenges of an evolving healthcare landscape, there is an unprecedented need for a committed and adaptable network of leaders in the community health centers field. To meet this need and strengthen the next generation of community health center leaders, The Blue Shield of California Foundation partnered with the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco to administer the Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders program, training eight cohorts of participants from California… Learn more

Download
Finding New Paths for Teen Engagement and Learning: A Funder Collaborative Leads the Way

Our case study on the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative shares what we have learned in studying the process and accomplishments of a group of local and national funders from ten different communities, all bound by a common overarching pursuit, but each with their own goals, strategies and structures. It details the Collaborative’s genesis (which was prompted by our study, Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens), membership benefits and key elements to the Collaborative’s early success. Ellen Irie, along with Collaborative member… Learn more

Download
Infographic: Effective Consulting Partnerships to Philanthropy

Over the years we’ve had both productive and challenging experiences working with other consultants on philanthropy projects. Reflecting on these experiences, and from talking with others in the field, we wrote 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 infographic breaks down the article’s fundamental points. Ultimately, open communication on all levels—from clarifying power dynamics and relationships between funders, grantees and… Learn more

Download