Grand Rapids

Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center

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Grand Valley State University

Jeff Williams, Director, Community Data and Research Lab

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy (Johnson Center) is an academic center of Grand Valley State University, established in 1992 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Johnson Center's mission is to be a global leader in helping individuals and organizations understand, strengthen, and advance philanthropy. The vision of this work is to support a smart, adaptive sector that helps create strong, inclusive communities.

The Johnson Center's core work includes the following:

  • Resources and tools to make data and research useful to practitioners and students, providing context and insight for philanthropy. Through blog posts, webinars, articles, speaking engagements, data tools, and more, Johnson Center staff share core concepts and new frameworks to explore key questions that shape the sector. Community Insight, an online data platform for visualizing communities and advancing equity, is a key offering.
  • Applied research and evaluation publications and services, including program and strategy evaluation and primary data collection designed to help organizations and individuals bridge the gap between the information they need and the change they want to make. This work includes publication of The Foundation Review the nation's first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy, and the Johnson Center’s annual 11 Trends in Philanthropy report.
  • Competency-based professional development and capacity building for individuals and organizations.
Trish Abalo
Research Associate
Kallie Bauer
Senior Project Manager
Jeff Williams
Director, Community Data and Research Lab


May 4, 2022
Community Insight is a platform for displaying data about local communities, understanding community opportunities and needs, and targeting efforts for advancing equity. We draw on multiple... [read more]
2014 - 2015
The Community Research Institute has released the first phase of Community Profiles 2.0 for the Grand Rapids area. This phase aims to build upon CRI's existing work in housing and economics within... [read more]
January 2014
Begun in 2011, this dashboard is TALENT 2025’s “go to” data source for the monitoring of ongoing improvement efforts around two major goals; (1) to achieve 60% post-secondary attainment in the 25... [read more]


June 21, 2023
Blog post - By: Juan Olivarez, Trish Abalo, Aaron Yore-VanOosterhou

Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center

Blog Post
February 23, 2023
Presentation - By: Trish Abalo

Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center, Data Driven Detroit (D3)

MNA BIPOC survey-nnip 02-23-2023.pdf
Report, Network Map Tool, Tutorial for Network Map Tool
January 18, 2023
Report - By: Trish Abalo et al.

Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center

Blog Post
December 1, 2022
Report - By: Trish Abalo, Stephanie Quesnelle, Rosie Liu, Jeff Williams

Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center, Data Driven Detroit (D3)

October 28, 2022
Presentation - By: Melyssa Tsai-O’Brien, Jordan Graves

Data Driven Detroit (D3), Community Data & Research Lab at the Johnson Center


Partner Webinars

December 31, 1969

... [read more]

Presenters Jeanette Parra, Community Information Now, Trish Abalo, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
December 31, 1969

Idea Showcases are 5 minute opportunities to highlight or talk about the great work our organizations are doing. We had a great line up for this showcase!  The Boston Indicators... [read more]

Presenters Trevor Mattos, Boston Indicators, Jeff Matson, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Jeff Williams, Community Data &, Research Lab at the Johnson Center