Jean Ritok
Volunteer chapter leader, Citizens Climate Education in Raleigh-Durham, NC

We connected Jean with a researcher to talk about research on how to boost volunteer engagement. Afterwards she shared how that one conversation produced a broader shift in organizational practice...a true culture change:

"In January 2019 we connected with research4impact to talk about boosting volunteer engagement. Eager and curious, I did a 30-minute call with a researcher who described the research-based best practices for welcoming new volunteers and getting them involved in our work.  I found myself in rapt attention to what he was saying.  After the call, I wrote up his recommendations, shared them with our chapter's staff, and worked with our chapter’s “growth team” so they could use those practices to welcome new members.

The practices really worked well.  Once we understood the reasoning behind their design, they were easy to adopt and felt natural, even the first time I used them.  For me, it was a revelation and a timesaver and made the process much more rewarding for both parties. Interesting: these practices guided how best to talk to new people, and what did we learn?... that it's mostly about listening to them. 

About a month later, we used the recommended practices at our monthly meeting with walk-ins who were curious about our organization. Once again, the practices were natural and effective. Those volunteers joined our organization and began to explore our action teams ... in that first meeting!

As a busy volunteer myself, I have long been frustrated at the gap between academia and those in the trenches.  I am so pleased that research4impact is narrowing that gap. So many smart researchers ... so many hard-working practitioners: It's high time we partnered them up!

A few months later, I passed out 40 copies of the Volunteer Engagement Practices at our regional Conference as part of my presentation on "How to have a Vibrant Chapter with Engaged Volunteers". Several people walked up to me afterwards and said how much they appreciated that handout. I wasn’t surprised. So valuable. It really makes a difference."

Abiola Oyebanjo
Founder, Empower Local People (Based in Nigeria)

In 2019 Abiola reached out to connect with a researcher to learn about research related to volunteer engagement. He was quickly matched with a researcher to talk about that topic as well as research on how to build trust as a new NGO. Afterwards he said this:

"Though my initial plan was to get some advice on improving volunteer engagement for our NGO, I was overwhelmed by how Prof. Jeffrey dug into the core of our vision and gave invaluable insights on ways in gaining the trust of our project beneficiaries, which was a big nut to crack.  The information he provided aligned to my very life-long belief that if one has to help other people, they must find you to be genuine. Having to gain insights that combines value-based principles, professional field experiences and personal drive was awesome and we are making steps to reboot our process so as to propel an NGO that delivers lasting and positive change to businesswomen in local cities in Nigeria."

Miguel Pereira
Political Scientist at Washington Univ in St. Louis

In 2019 Miguel reached out because he wanted to connect with a nonprofit organization to study what drives local elected officials to learn and adopt new policies. Using the research4impact newsletter, we made a new connection that has led to a brand-new collaboration. Here's what he reported afterwards:

"I first heard about Research4Impact at an annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. Adam was describing the goals of the organization and his excitement and passion about the project were contagious. I reached out to him a couple of months later with an idea for a collaboration with an environmental organization working with local governments. He quickly shared the idea to the 600+ person r4i community via the r4i newsletter. Within two weeks I was in touch with a colleague who was interested in similar work and offered to share the idea with 350 Seattle. Thanks to r4i we are about to field a collaborative study, less than four months after Adam brought us together."

Olivia Chow
Institute for Change Leaders Founder & Former Member of Parliament in Canada

April 2019 in Ontario, Canada:

The Institute for Change Leaders invited us to lead How to be Helpful: Building Relationships for Social Impact as part of one of their trainings. Olivia, the founder and head of the Institute, shared this afterwards:

"Adam provided excellent insight on how to build relationships for social impact. We know that building stronger organizations requires reaching out and having conversations with new people. He provides a useful, practical, and portable structure for how to have those conversations. Very engaging and really brings the academic insights to life!"

Anna Ebers
ORISE Science and Technology Policy Fellow (Based in Washington DC)

In March 2019 Anna took part in our hands-on matchmaking. She was looking to connect with social scientists studying behavioral barriers and opportunities for solar energy diffusion. Here's what she said afterwards: 

"Adam puts his heart and mind into building bridges -- in my case, between the public sector and academia. After a short phone call, he connected me with three highly-relevant social scientists studying how to expand the use of solar technologies. I already had a phone call and an in-person meeting with them and we're looking forward to talking again during upcoming conferences."