ORS Impact News

The ORS Impact team has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight and innovation. We work collaboratively with our clients, bringing our distinctive expertise in planning, measurement and evaluation to their most vexing challenges.

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A long overdue update on our journey to advance equity

Four years ago, we set an intention around equity. We knew doing nothing was not an option and good intentions were not good enough. It had been a long time since we had posted about this work—too long—and we’ve been hard at work to advance racial equity within our company and through our work since that time. More recent events this year again led us to make a public statement and reaffirm our commitment to continue this work. We decided it was time for an update on what we’re actually doing, so here’s an update on our work over the past four years to live our commitment.

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Thinking Outside the Box: More Ideas for How to Make Evaluations More Useful for Foundation Strategy and Practice

Over the past year we’ve been working as part of an action team with the Funder & Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN), thinking about how to strengthen the use of evaluation findings in philanthropic strategy. In a forthcoming brief, “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough: Making Evaluations More Useful for Foundation Strategy and Practice,” we suggest eight areas where focused action by external evaluators and foundation evaluation staff can help evaluation projects garner...

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New Report: Not Always Movements

In the brief, we compare and contrast the underlying assumptions, theories of change, and outcomes of three distinct social change approaches that are often conflated with movements: field building, network development, and promoting the uptake of practices by large numbers of organizations.

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Solidarity & Commitment to Action: Black Lives Matter and ORS Impact

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, David McAtee.   These people are among the many who should be alive and well within their communities right now. Violence against Black communities is not new; it has been cultivated and enabled for centuries by the actions and inactions of White people. White supremacy, which is embedded in our culture and systems, favors Whiteness over the lives, well-being, and protection of Black people. We are not immune in the...

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Dispatch from Seattle

A message from our CEO, Sarah Stachowiak:   Hello, friends— What a crazy few weeks it has been. On March 2 nd we knew there were diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) in our county. On March 6 th we started working home for one week, out of an “abundance of caution.”  By March 14 th we knew we’d be working remotely through April 24 th – at least. While we continue advancing our work from home, we have reckoned with the fact that we...

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4 Recommendations for Evaluators Working on the Defense

Whether "maintaining a win," "killing a bill," or simply, "stopping bad stuff from happening," the field has long acknowledged  a unique aspect of advocacy: defense is as important as policy wins.   Yet, despite  acknowledging that defensive advocacy matters, th e development of defense-specific approaches has lagged behind other advocacy and policy change evaluation developments.  In our brief, “ When  the Best Offense is a Good Defense:...

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