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What your org can learn from how the Economy League does research

Whether your organization is big or small, take these three lessons to heart.


July 18, 2016

Mo Manklang, Generocity


Whether you have the capacity to conduct deep, qualitative and quantitative research or more focused, organization-driven strategic planning, make sure to keep an eye out for ways your organization can measure its success.


Economy League of Greater Philadelphia gathered last week for its annual World Class Summit, this time in celebration of the organization’s research-driven insight and leadership over the past 97 years — from its analysis of the Philadelphia School District’s budget’s ability to expand educational efforts, to its establishment of a 30-point tracking system to understand exactly what issue areas Philly should be addressing.


The topic of this year’s summit was exporting the best talent and goods that Philly has to offer, calling back to the organization’s Greater Philadelphia Export Plan, released earlier this year.

Here are some helpful pointers to keep in mind from the Economy League’s research:


1. Track your impact


Philly is only going to improve as much as we are able to understand and track. Look at the World Class Infrastructure GPS system to provide a solid framework and example of prioritized, strategic goals that can be key to any organization.


2. Come with research AND solutions


You may think “Be the change you want to see” is a cliché, but change comes easier when you have a plan of action. Looking again at the GPS tracking system, proposing “promising pathways” — such as leveraging the rapidly evolving energy sector to create sustainable city systems — gives funders and other organizations a place to plug into your work.


3. Connect with leaders “outside of the box”

It might be unexpected to hear a former Proctor and Gamble CEO talk about the science of brain development in young children, but John Pepper is part of a large and growing movement in the business community that is using its influence and resources to advocate for high-quality early learning opportunities for all children.


The report, “A Call to Action: Business Leadership in Early Learning in New Jersey,” illustrates how companies like Proctor and Gamble, PNC, IKEA and Crayola are interested in taking action, and need to connect with impact organizations in order to make efficient, lasting change.


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