Get the insights

Our thoughts, perspectives, and ideas.

How Could Public Systems Work Better for Families?

How Could Public Systems Work Better for Families?

That’s the question we’ve been asking during a year-long research and storytelling project to understand families’ experiences accessing and using public services to create better lives for their children. The first thing we did was research to understand a system that was redesigned to better work for the families that need it. Michigan made significant investments in redesigning its public service system using human-centered design principles, and the result is impressive. Learn more about what Michigan has done right, and where they have room…
New name, same VIVA!

New name, same VIVA!

Having celebrated VIVA’s 8 year anniversary as a firm, we are proud to reflect on how we view our work, our team, and those we serve. We regularly discuss as a team what brings us together and what unifies our efforts, and at the end of these conversations, we always land on social impact partnerships. With this in mind, we began to think about our firm’s name. But before we go further, let’s take a brief walk back in time. When Nicole and…
QRIS 2019 Conference Recap

QRIS 2019 Conference Recap

At this year’s Build #QRIS2019 Conference, we participated in some excellent sessions, delivered three presentations, spread the word about VIVA Goods, caught up with many familiar faces…and, of course, ate more than our share of beignets!
VIVA Summer Reading List

VIVA Summer Reading List

Did you know that summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas, to read during their summer vacation?
Tips & Tools for Designing & Leading Powerful Meetings

Tips & Tools for Designing & Leading Powerful Meetings

Yes, meetings can be powerful. As professionals, there are times when we wonder, “Why are we meeting? Was that worth my time?” And other times when we walk away feeling the WOW of a great meeting. For those of us focused on social impact, it is worth pausing to think about how we can make our time together even better.
Empathy and Photography

Empathy and Photography

Quick—how long would it take you to grab your phone and take a picture right now? 30 seconds? 1 minute? The ubiquitousness of smartphones means that we each have a camera, video camera, and ways of sharing what we’ve captured with the world at our fingertips, virtually all the time. So what do we do with that?
Investing in the Nonprofit Sector by Strengthening Leadership Capacity

Investing in the Nonprofit Sector by Strengthening Leadership Capacity

Effective nonprofits are vital to the healthy development and quality of life in any community. An effective nonprofit, is one with a strong capacity to deliver on its mission. Naturally, this starts with a clear mission and purpose, but it also includes strong governance and leadership as well as financial and professional development systems and infrastructure capacity.
Guacamole Grantmaking: Keeping the Grantee at the Center

Guacamole Grantmaking: Keeping the Grantee at the Center

Sometimes the most exciting grantmaking opportunities happen thanks to the smallest comments or observations.
Creative and Strategic Approaches to Early Learning Systems-Building

Creative and Strategic Approaches to Early Learning Systems-Building

There is an overwhelming unmet need for quality early learning access and supports for young children in California. 
Developing a New Website: It’s Not as Daunting as You Think

Developing a New Website: It’s Not as Daunting as You Think

Here is a fact we all know to be true: technology is always changing. Did you just buy the latest iPhone? Don’t get attached–something newer and better is inevitably going to come along within the next six months. Websites are no exception to this ever-changing landscape. Websites we visit on a daily basis are constantly changing to add new features, levels of interactivity, and other bells and whistles that set them apart from the sea of websites that fill the…