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As you may have noticed, a few weeks ago we completely overhauled our website in an effort to better serve the rapidly changing fields of media and philanthropy. (Here’s an overview of what you can now find.) And with our shiny new website comes shiny new impact assessment resources, which we’re eager to showcase.

Since 2013—after seeing funders’ and media makers’ need to build impact strategies and evaluate the outcomes of their media projects—we’ve been curating a number of resources for the field, including impact-related tools, original analyses on impact trends, and a monthly impact newsletter. We’re going to continue to provide all of those resources with the help of a redesigned and organized impact section. Here’s an overview of how to make the most of what we offer.

First things first: If you’re new to the media impact conversation, our new impact section includes a brief history of MIF’s work in the world of media impact assessment as well as some key resources for those new to the media impact field. To stay up-to-date with current impact trends and highlights, check out our original Impact analysis news posts—where you can read about the impact of documentary film on the lives of women and girls, how Florida teenagers used media to move the needle on gun violence, and how to measure impact of podcasts—on the impact page, on our news blog under the category “Impact” and  in our impact newsletter.

The centerpiece of our new impact resources is our new, searchable, interactive database of impact assessment tools for media projects. This is a continuously updated collection of impact analysis platforms and apps, frameworks, toolkits and case studies of high impact media projects. You can sort through the collection by focusing on a specific media type (e.g. “audio/radio” or “film/video”) and/or by the type of resource (e.g. “toolkit” or “case studies.”).

For example, if you are only interested in seeing resources designed for games and interactive media projects, select “games/interactive.”

If you are interested in  seeing examples of high-impact film projects, select “film/video” and “case studies.”

Or if you want to sift through frameworks for assessing journalism projects, select “journalism” and “frameworks.”

If you’re not looking for anything in particular, you can browse through the database for inspiration and examples of how other media organizations and foundations have analyzed impact.

A few notes on what’s included in our tools database: Some of the resources are in beta or are no longer active. We still included these in order to provide examples of the different ways to think about collecting and organizing metrics for understanding media impact. Also, we tried to hone in on tools that would be most useful for nonprofit media organizations and their funders. While there are many different examples of paid analytic services for web content, we tended to not include them here unless we found a direct application in the nonprofit media world.

If you’re craving deeper impact research, such as academic research papers and foundation white papers, we’ve got you covered. Just go to our curated media impact research collection over at IssueLab, where you can dig into impact reports from leading organizations in the field, such as The Case for Media Impact: A Case Study of ICIJ’s Radical Collaboration Strategy from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia and Impact with Games: A Fragmented Field from Games for Change.

We’ll also continue to highlight media impact news from popular culture publications in our impact newsletter. If you’re interested in reading about impact in popular news, make sure you are signed up for our impact newsletter.

Our new impact page also includes our entire history of Media Impact Festival Case Studies, our original write-ups of the impact campaigns of high-impact documentary films and interactive projects such as Chasing Coral, Across the Line, and Virunga. Check those out here.

Questions, comments, or want to add a tool to our impact database? Contact us at impact@mediafunders.org.

About the Author
Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly

Research Consultant

Katie is a research consultant for Media Impact Funders and associate director for media strategy and production firm Dot Connector Studio. She formerly served as associate research director at American University’s Center for Social Media (now the Center for Media and Social Impact), and as senior research associate at the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab. Katie has led impact evaluations for many media organizations including PBS, Working Films, and the National Association for Latino Independent Producers. She has conducted extensive impact research, particularly on the power of documentary film, and has written about the power of media to make change for numerous academic and journalistic publications. Katie has created many educational toolkits that use media to dig into social issues, including curricula addressing youth and gender, substance abuse, and gender-based violence.