research4impact offers three services: 1) workshops on how to build diverse, new working relationships, 2) hands-on matchmaking, and 3) self-matchmaking.

In addition, we're sharing what we're learning about how to build successful academic-practitioner relationships and expand the use of research evidence. Scroll down to read our short articles and one-page briefs.

WORKSHOP: "How to be Helpful: Building Relationships for Social Impact"

We offer interactive workshops for people that want guidance on how to build working relationships with others who have diverse sources of expertise. It's useful for researchers, nonprofit practitioners, government officials, grantors, grantees, mentors, mentees, community members, students, and many others who have expertise, want to share that expertise with others, and want to learn about others' expertise.

We cover the behavioral science of relationship-building, provide a framework for how to put it into practice, and then lead a series of interactive exercises to practice. The workshops can be between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending upon how in-depth you want to be and how many interactive exercises you'd like. Of the interactive exercises, relationship-building bingo is always a crowd-pleaser ;-)

So far we've given it to hundreds of folks from a wide variety of groups in Europe, Asia, and North America. Check out the "Impact stories" on the r4i homepage for what others have said about the sessions so far.

Sound helpful and enjoyable? Contact Adam (President of r4i) and let's set something up!


MATCHMAKING: Hands-on Matchmaking and Self-Matchmaking

research4impact members connect with each other on their own via our online platform and also via our hands-on matchmaking service. In 2018 40 pairs of researchers and practitioners used our matchmaking services. In the first two months of 2019 we've conducted over 60 matches.

Some of these matches result in one-time conversations that are short, high-impact, and highly personalized. Some of them result in longer-term collaborations that include entirely new data analysis and/or data collection. Here are seven FAQs for successful academic-practitioner collaborations.

  • Hands-on matchmaking service:

Many folks from the network want a bit more background information and help finding conversation partners and collaborators. To facilitate these connections we offer (free) hands-on matchmaking.

Attn: Practitioners! There's cool research out there that could help you solve tricky problems you're facing. If you have a profile, then log in and then use the "Request Matchmaking" button at the top of the page. If you don't have a profile, then click here.

Attn: Researchers! Many practitioners -- folks in the nonprofit and governance spaces -- are looking to collaborate on new, exciting projects. If you're ready to take the plunge and have a profile, then log in and then use the "Request Matchmaking" button at the top of the page. If you don't have a profile, email Adam and let's go!

  • Self-matchmaking:

There are two steps for connecting with other r4i members on your own:

Step 1 of 2: Create a research4impact profile

Click here to create a profile. Provide some biographical and professional information about yourself, your past work, and your goals. Edit as often as you’d like. Here's some advice on creating a good profile.

Step 2 of 2: Connect to others

Search the full set of profiles to find others that share your interests. Then reach out to potential communication partners and/or collaborators directly via the site.


Here's what we're learning about building successful researcher-practitioner relationships:

1. Why do practitioners want to connect with researchers? (Summary + 10 page article; also describes our matchmaking methodology)

2. When do practitioners want to connect with researchers? (1 page brief)

3. Do practitioners prefer to connect with researchers who are local? (1 page brief)

4. When they connect with researchers, are practitioners time-sensitive? (1 page brief)

5. Do practitioners prefer do-it-yourself or hands-on matchmaking? (1 page brief)

6. Do researchers want to engage with practitioners? (1 page brief)

7. Do researchers share new information, or just tell practitioners what they already know? (1 page brief)

8. Are the conversations enjoyable? (1 page brief)

Finally check out this great read: a 2018 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review for information about how r4i is pioneering new ways to build relationships between researchers and practitioners.