Jeff Pelich
Vice President of Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario in Waterloo

In April 2019 the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario invited us to lead our interactive workshop How to be Helpful: Building Relationships for Social Impact to their members. Here's what Jeff said afterwards:

"This workshop reaffirmed to our members the value of developing deep relationships to better engage and motivate their colleagues into action.  The content was a perfect balance of practical tips and theory that sought to empower participants in their organizing efforts."

Erica Frazier
Research Manager, FairVote

In fall 2018 Erica and her team reached out to connect with a researcher interested in evaluating electoral reforms. By spring 2019 things had really progressed! Here's what she said: 

"We had a great collaboration with researchers at MIT, using ballot data to analyze the impact of ranked choice voting. It’s already been presented as part of an engaging conference panel. We really appreciated your help connecting us — this kind of research matchmaking is so valuable!"

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."