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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.
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

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Documenting the JRS Initiative 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 Jewish Resource Specialist (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… Learn more

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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

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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

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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

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Clinic Leadership Institute’s New Executive Transitions (nEXt) Program Findings

Funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Clinic Leadership Institute’s New Executive Transitions (nEXt) program provides new community health center CEOs with knowledge, skills and networks to succeed in their positions. The year-long program consists of in-person program meetings, mentor/advisor relationships and ongoing informal networking. Informing Change’s evaluation of the nEXt program’s 2013-14 cohort shows that the program has led to enhanced leadership skills, improved networking skills and greater timely field knowledge for its participants. Read more nEXt evaluation… Learn more

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Awarding Innovation: An Assessment of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Competition

In 2013, the MacArthur Foundation engaged Informing Change to evaluate one component of its Digital Media and Learning (DML) Initiative—the DML Competition—which identifies innovators and invests in prototypes of games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, social networks, digital badge platforms and more in support of connected learning. Informing Change assessed the Competition’s goals, processes, and impacts on awardees, awarded projects, the DML landscape and the Foundation using a mixed-methods evaluation design. Through our evaluation, we found that participation in the Competition has… Learn more

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Assessment of Regranting Intermediaries Strategy: Exploring the Ecosystem of Support for Individual Artists & Small Arts Organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area

In 2014, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts Program engaged Informing Change in partnership with Olive Grove to assess the effectiveness of the Foundation’s approach to support regranting intermediaries. The Foundation works with these regranting intermediaries to target San Francisco Bay Area small arts organizations, individual artists and communities or arts disciplines (e.g., folk and traditional arts) where the Foundation has limited capacity and experience. This exploratory examination revealed several key takeaways, including: From 2010 to 2013, Hewlett’s intermediaries regranted almost $7.4… Learn more

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Seeds of Opportunity: A National Study of Immersive Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE)

In fall 2012, a collection of Jewish funders—Jim Joseph Foundation, Leichtag Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, Schusterman Family Foundation, and UJA Federation of New York—collaborated with Hazon to conduct the first national research study on experiences that integrate Jewish outdoor, food, and environmental education (JOFEE), focusing on immersive JOFEE programs lasting four days or longer. The Improve Group and Informing Change gathered and analyzed data to explore JOFEE programs, participants, and professionals. On March 10, 2014 Seeds of Opportunity: A National… Learn more

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Clinic Leadership Institute Executive Excellence Program Findings

In 2012, Blue Shield of California Foundation launched the Executive Excellence program (Ex2), the most recent addition to the suite of Clinic Leadership Institute programs. Administered by UCLA Anderson Executive Education, Ex2 offers a range of instruction and supports to catalyze leadership and effectiveness among executive teams in California’s community health centers field. In the inaugural cohort of five health centers, the program demonstrated strong outcomes among participating teams (e.g., CEO, COO, CFO), stimulating better communication, enhanced collaboration, and more data-informed… Learn more

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Views on Growing Impact from Grantmakers and Nonprofits: Select Highlights from the Evaluation of GEO’s Scaling What Works Initiative

From 2010 to 2014, Scaling What Works was a multi-year learning initiative of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) to expand the number of grantmakers and public sector funders who are working together to grow the impact of high-performing nonprofit organizations. Through the Initiative, GEO offered training, networking opportunities, and a host of tools and resources to better equip grantmakers to help nonprofit organizations to plan, adapt and grow their impact. From 2011 to 2014, GEO engaged Informing Change to evaluate the progress,… Learn more

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New Jewish Specialty Camps: From Idea to Reality

In 2008 the Jim Joseph Foundation invested $10 million to create and develop new specialty camps for Jewish teens, using the concept of an incubator for a small cohort of camp entrepreneurs.  The Incubator was entrusted to the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), which took on the challenge to help create new summer camps that would attract Jewish teens not attending other Jewish camps. In 2009, the Jim Joseph Foundation engaged Informing Change to design and implement a multi-year evaluation… Learn more

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Clinic Leadership Institute Emerging Leaders Program Findings

Published in the Clinic Leadership Institute's seventh year, this dashboard showcases how the program continued to develop individual leaders, strengthen sponsoring organizations and bolster California’s community health centers system so it will thrive for years to come. In the evaluation findings, highlighted by Informing Change in a data dashboard and short deck, the program delivers solid and consistent results within a changing and challenging health care context, including the implementation of health care reform. The longitudinal, mixed-method evaluation follows the program’s first… Learn more

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The State of Volunteering in North American Jewish Not-for-Profit Organizations

In 2011, Repair the World commissioned the first major assessment of the state of volunteering in the Jewish not-for-profit community. A group of New York University graduate students from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service designed and distributed the survey, resulting in over 200 responses. Informing Change then analyzed this data to produce a brief report of key findings for Repair the World and the broader Jewish not-for-profit community. These results helped to establish important baselines and identify… Learn more

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Charting the Course: Career Paths Among Emerging Health Center Leaders

As California faces the challenges of an evolving healthcare landscape and the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, there is an unprecedented need for a committed and adaptable network of leaders in the community health centers field. To meet this need, Blue Shield of California Foundation has 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 five cohorts of participants from… Learn more

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Innovation in Community Health Centers: Key Learnings from the Community Health Center Innovation Challenge Pilot Program

In January 2012, 13 community health centers throughout California received one-year “seed” funding and support to develop innovative ideas, support “out of the box” thinking and test new solutions to common problems in health care. The Center for Care Innovation and Blue Shield of California Foundation engaged Informing Change to conduct an evaluation of this pilot program called the Community Health Center Innovation Challenge. This document highlights key learnings about innovation that were drawn from a larger evaluation of the… Learn more

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Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens: What Jewish Communities Can Learn from Programs That Work

On behalf of the Jim Joseph Foundation, Informing Change collaborated with Rosov Consulting to conduct a body of research around teen education programs, identifying leading efforts inside and outside of the Jewish world that are engaging young people in experiences that are relevant, meaningful and ongoing. Twenty-one programs were chosen for inclusion in a scan of programs, including eight Jewish programs for teens and two for young adults, ages 20–40, along with eleven secular and other faith-based programs for teens… Learn more

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Mission Possible: Healthcare Safety Net Integration

For the past few years, healthcare administrators and providers have been getting ready for the Affordable Care Act by re-examining and making changes to their current systems. They are preparing for an influx of newly insured patients, attempting to position themselves as providers of choice within their communities and working on developing health homes and accountable care organizations. The Blue Shield of California Foundation believes that integration and coordination of services across the safety net is critical to achieving a… Learn more

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Key Learnings from Nadiv’s Launch & The Nadiv Story Unfolding

The Nadiv Program (Nadiv) is an innovative pilot made possible by a partnership between the Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation and is operated by The Foundation for Jewish Camp. The collaborative Nadiv partnership created six new Jewish educator positions, Nadiv Educators, which are shared between Jewish summer camps and schools. In these memos, Informing Change documents and summarizes the story of Nadiv and offer key learnings from its development and early implementation. The first memo, The Nadiv Story,… Learn more

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Jewish Student Connection: 2011–12 Evaluation Findings

Jewish Student Connection (JSC) aims to serve as a catalyst for Jewish teens to take ownership of their Jewish future by creating in-school educational experiences in public and private high schools. JSC’s student-run clubs provide opportunities for teens to build community, learn about Jewish history and Israel, and gain access to the Jewish community outside their high school. In 2010, three national and regional funders engaged Informing Change to assess the programmatic and organizational growth of JSC in four regions:… Learn more

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