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How films and philanthropy can bring about social change

Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (right) won an Oscar for “American Factory,” one of the first movies from Higher Ground, the production company founded by former President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

Innovative early childhood initiative empowers Hispanic parents through entertainment television

Children’s early learning and brain development are subjects that I have always cared deeply about. But now, as the mother of three little ones, these subjects have taken on a much more personal significance. I marvel every day at the connections my daughter and two sons are making and all that they are absorbing from […]

MIF releases report examining the current state of the field of media impact assessment

After seven years of tracking the field of media impact assessment, we’re pleased to announce the release of our latest report, Decoding Media Impact: Insights, Advice & Recommendations, which provides an examination of the current state of the field.

Highlights from our meeting on climate and the environment

Last week in Boulder, CO, we held a meeting to explore philanthropy’s role in amplifying attention to our global environmental crisis. It was 25 degrees and snowing, but thankfully we didn’t have to walk far from our hotel to eTown, our gracious host for the daylong gathering. The day before, the high temperature reached a […]

“The Game Changers”: Planting the seeds of veganism, one meat-eating dude at a time

Question: Let’s say you’re at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, watching the premiere of a documentary about the power and promise of veganism. “A shocking new documentary that will change the way you look at meat,” reads one of the reviews. Immediately after exiting the film, do you:

Unleashing the power of impact media in education: A Q&A with SIMA Studios

SIMA Studios is a global curator of social impact media with multiple arms: SIMA Awards, which honor high-quality social impact media across the globe; SIMA X, a community film screening and distribution initiative; and SIMA Classroom, an educational program designed to “provide first-class visual storytelling resources to education forums worldwide.” Recently, we chatted with SIMA’s […]

Success beyond scale: Evaluating outcomes that funders really care about

“Scale”—too often this is the bane of a grantee’s or evaluator’s existence when it comes to assessing the social impact of media projects. Why are funders so stuck on this concept, and what other impact models might matter more? As we’ve been reviewing materials we’ve gathered on media impact over the past several years, these […]

Here’s your summer impact reading list

Over the past five years of researching media impact, it’s become clear to me that even those of us who spend our time researching the complexities of impact assessment sometimes rely on unwritten assumptions: that change is linear, and can be easily measured; that social media is an effective organizing tool; that conventional meetings and […]

Impact spotlight: Sea of Shadows

Last week, in collaboration with Philanthropy New York and the Environmental Grantmakers Association, we held a special screening and discussion of the award-winning film Sea of Shadows, a new film by National Geographic that serves as a blueprint for how a conservation effort can come together in spite of widespread institutional corruption and dangerous cartels. In […]

MIF identifies new learning priorities after yearlong strategic planning process

As part of a new strategic direction informed by a yearlong review of our organization, we’ve been tasked with outlining learning priorities for the year and beyond. We have identified the following priorities: Making the case for media funding Assessing the impact of media funding Understanding the importance of evidence-based science communications activities Presenting/identifying funding […]

6 impact tools for every type of funder and media maker

Here at Media Impact Funders, we’ve been researching best practices in measuring media impact since 2013. In addition to curating impact-related tools, producing original analyses on impact trends, and publishing a monthly impact newsletter, we also convene funders to discuss impact, and conduct research on how funders are thinking about and assessing impact in the […]

The 2019 Media Impact Forum

Last month, we convened our annual Media Impact Forum at the American Philosophical Society—the home of America’s oldest learned society—in Philadelphia, where we paid special attention to the role of radio and audio in creating and sustaining crucial connections with communities.