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Irvine Leadership Award Recipients are all the Buzz!

BY Joyce Sood
Joyce Sood
As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood leads Irvine's social media and di
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| Mar 07, 2014

The 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award recipients were recently announced at a luncheon held in Sacramento. This year's class of leaders offered innovative solutions to some of California's most critical challenges. Here are some highlights from the conversation happening over Twitter.

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Foundational Knowledge: Assessment and Learning

BY Kevin Rafter
Kevin Rafter
As Manager of Impact Assessment and Learning, Kevin oversees evaluation efforts
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| Mar 03, 2014

Editor’s Note: Foundational Knowledge is a new and occasional series on News & Insights, providing three bullet points on a topic of interest to Irvine’s partners and grantees.

Assessment and learning are buzzwords that generate excitement and dread in the social sector. Sometimes lumped under the heading of evaluation, assessment and learning simply means the practice of collecting data about the outcomes of our work to understand progress and impact.

Here are some important points I keep in mind about using measurement to help us understand our impact and progress:

  • Aligning your measurement plan to key decisions is important! The most valuable assessment is one that is timed to provide data, analysis and insights at the right time to inform decisions about future grants or a strategic refinement.
  • This is new territory in many parts of the social sector, so don't let perfect be the enemy of the good - work with what's available, and refine as you go.
  • You learn as much from discovering what’s not working in your programs as you do from learning what works well. In this way, it’s always valuable to do an assessment.
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In the News: February 2014

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Feb 28, 2014

In February 2014, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Announcing the 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards

BY Don Howard
Don Howard
Don Howard was appointed Interim President and Chief Executive Officer in Februa
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| Feb 27, 2014

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. The awards recognize Californians who are implementing effective solutions to critical state issues. This year’s recipients demonstrate how innovative partnerships across sectors and institutions often are a key part of successfully tackling our state's challenges.

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Linked Learning: Recent Successes and Looking Forward

BY Anne Stanton
Anne Stanton
As Director of the Youth program, Anne Stanton leads Irvine’s strategies to esta
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| Feb 25, 2014
A number of exciting recent developments indicate how Linked Learning is growing and gaining support:
  • The Linked Learning Pilot Program, passed by California legislators through Assembly Bill 790, involves 63 school districts and county offices of education throughout the state. Together, these agencies serve approximately 600,000 high school students, about one-third of the state’s high school population. This pilot sets the stage for steady expansion and demonstration of Linked Learning as a viable approach that can benefit all California youth.
  • Legislative support is reinforced by the 2013–2014 California state budget, which establishes the $250 million California Career Pathways Trust to fund work-based learning — a critical element of the Linked Learning approach — and other career pathways.
  • Last fall, the Linked Learning Fall Showcase generated new commitments from business leaders to work with local schools to get involved in providing work-based learning opportunities for high school students in Linked Learning pathways (read a News & Insights post about the event by Jennifer Ortega, California State Director of America’s Edge).
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From the President: Hope and Opportunity

BY Don Howard
Don Howard
Don Howard was appointed Interim President and Chief Executive Officer in Februa
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| Feb 18, 2014

Colleagues,

I’m feeling hopeful. I’m hopeful that addressing inequitable and unsustainable gaps in opportunity is truly emerging as a priority in our nation, as evidenced by the President’s “Opportunity Agenda,” and here in California, where I see a growing recognition of the ever-widening disparities between socio-economic groups and between our inland and coastal regions. This recognition is a tribute to the tenacious and creative efforts of social sector leaders and their communities who have brought attention and solutions forward to our profound opportunity gaps. Even though we still live in a state and country where your zip code can predict your social mobility and life expectancy, I’m hopeful that expanding access to opportunity will have broad enough importance and urgency across ethical, economic, and political lines to become a shared goal.

Perhaps, I’m hopeful because we at the James Irvine Foundation, like so many of you, have committed ourselves to this very goal for Californians. We see the insidious and unfair effects of opportunity being inaccessible to so many people. We also see, in the work that so many of you do, the tremendous potential for proven approaches and innovative solutions to improve access to opportunity and to strengthen individuals, families, communities, and society.

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Measuring the Impact of Social Media: What Happens Offline?

BY Joyce Sood
Joyce Sood
As Digital Communications Officer, Joyce Sood leads Irvine's social media and di
User is currently offline
| Feb 14, 2014

Editor’s note: The following post also appears on The Communications Network’s blog.

As we examine the online impact of our social media activities, a question that often comes to mind is: Can we reliably measure whether people's online engagement influences their actions and behavior offline?

During a recent webinar, held as a follow up to a spring 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) conference that began a sector-wide conversation about how to determine the effectiveness of using social media to advance causes and issues, three foundations shared how they’re assessing what they’re learning about their separate online activities.

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Picture This

BY Chris Henrikson
Chris Henrikson
Chris Henrikson is the Founder and Executive Director of Street Poets Inc.
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| Feb 12, 2014

After writing for a few minutes, a passerby records his contribution to a community poem along Central Avenue in South Los Angeles. Street Poets' Poetry in Motion van, supported by the Irvine Foundation's Exploring Engagement Fund, is a mobile poetry performance venue and recording studio designed to inspire creativity in unexpected places.

Photo Credit: Todd Bigelow

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From the President: With Thanks

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Feb 04, 2014

Dear Friends,

In a few weeks, I will conclude what has been an enormously satisfying tenure as Irvine’s CEO since 2003. Since the announcement of my appointment as President of the Barr Foundation, I have found myself reflecting a great deal upon gratitude. Therefore, I’d like to use this final President’s Message to offer my thanks to several groups of people, who have been essential to the progress that the Irvine Foundation has made and who have personally contributed to my growth and learning as CEO.

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In the News: January 2014

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Feb 01, 2014

In January 2014, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Aaron Pick
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