Increasingly, funders and nonprofits are adopting strategies like grassroots engagement, grassroots mobilization, community organizing, systems change, and policy advocacy. Innovation Network is an established leader in advocacy evaluation, and has a demonstrated ability to design evaluation approaches for complex initiatives. We have experience working with federal, state, and local policy change efforts; systems change efforts; and grassroots movements. We efficiently collect data from a wide array of sources including community members, organizers, advocates, experts, and other leading thinkers. Our staff are adept at performing quantitative and qualitative analysis and organizing data to develop coherent findings and themes.
We understand the ever evolving nature of social movements and advocacy, and we strive to provide reliable, actionable data to turn insight into action.
A robust civic infrastructure—engaged, powerful constituencies and strong, community-based institutions—is critical to impacting poverty in the US. Through support provided by The JPB Foundation, Innovation Network is mapping the civic infrastructure of national, state, and local civic organizations that promote engagement in democracy. Our research is designed to produce a map of the network capacity among organizations funded through the JPB poverty program, and to investigate the extent to which there is organizational sustainability for civic engagement at the local and state level. The findings inform decisions about what types of investments are most needed to support the strength, efficacy, and long-term sustainability of civic engagement organizations.
Working with the Atlantic Philanthropies, Innovation Network took stock of the Foundation’s 10-year, $70 million initiative to reform America’s immigration system. Innovation Network and Atlantic co-designed this research project to document and reflect on ten years of US immigration reform efforts, specifically focused on Atlantic’s grantmaking support, with the goal of assessing impact and drawing lessons from Atlantic’s efforts. The report delves into the paths taken (and not taken) to illustrate advocacy strategy decision points. It is also accompanied by a Funder Discussion Guide to promote the sharing of advocacy evaluation lessons.
In January 2015, the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) and Innovation Network kicked off an evaluation engagement to better understand the field of health advocates across Kansas. KHF’s goal was to build grassroots and grasstops advocacy capacity throughout the state. Innovation Network assisted KHF by providing research and evaluation expertise to help the foundation understand the types and distribution of advocacy capacity in the field (the “baseline”), as well as helping to create a more unified field of advocates. This evaluation primarily discovered at advocacy tactics and skills, and looked more broadly than the health field to organizations focused on the social determinants of health, e.g., employment, housing, education, and the like. Innovation Network’s baseline assessment helped KHF make important strategic decisions about the future direction of this grassroots advocacy capacity building initiative.