Social IMPACT Research Center – Heartland Alliance

Social IMPACT Research Center

The Social IMPACT Research Center is a full-service research and evaluation resource. IMPACT’s research helps organizations raise the profile of social issues and promote solutions that improve the quality of life for poor and low-income individuals. Since 1989, IMPACT has been investigating a variety of social issues and solutions. Through nearly a decade of producing the annual Report on Illinois Poverty, IMPACT has become the established source for data on poverty issues. Our work resonates with elected officials and non-experts due to our effective way of communicating otherwise complex and confusing data.

The hallmark of IMPACT’s work is our poverty, economic security, and housing-related research. Through nearly a decade of producing the annual Report on Illinois Poverty , IMPACT has become the established source for data on poverty issues. Our work successfully resonates with elected officials as well as non-experts due to our effective way of communicating otherwise complex and confusing data.

Each of our research projects is formulated to leverage strategic policy change or program enhancement. IMPACT frequently works with groups to identify data that support the case for needed policy change. Our data is leveraged and used by many groups in their action alerts and issue fact sheets. Additionally, our analyses and reports are user-friendly and geared toward real-world application, including only the most salient data and presenting it in meaningful ways.

Services Offered:

Whether you’re looking for a program evaluation, a needs assessment, mapping, focus groups, surveys, or other research services, IMPACT customizes each project to meet the unique needs of our clients.

Applied Social Research
Many organizations seek to improve their understanding of and draw attention to the issues they address every day, but often lack the personnel, time, and know-how to effectively do so themselves. IMPACT specializes in conducting research that shines a spotlight on the social issues and solutions important to you, your program, and your advocacy and solution efforts. We produce reports, fact sheets, maps, case studies – whatever best helps you make the case for change.

Most organizations nowadays are encouraged or even required to evaluate their program’s effectiveness, document successes, and quantify unmet need. At IMPACT we view evaluations as more than just satisfying funder demands, but rather as opportunities to actively engage participants, staff, and administrators in continual program improvement and innovation. We will work with you to design and implement an evaluation plan that yields the information you need to improve your program.

Data Requests and Subscriptions
Sometimes the research you need has already been conducted or the data have already been collected. There is no need to recreate the wheel; IMPACT can find, review, and analyze this research and data for you – saving you valuable time and resources. Many of our clients just need occasional data points for their community as they write grant reports, consider program and service expansions, or give presentations. IMPACT staff have extensive knowledge of Census and other related data sets and are skilled at extracting, analyzing, and presenting data. Some organizations are more frequent data consumers, and for you we offer an annual data subscription service that can be customized to accommodate the frequency and intensity of your data needs.

Data or Research Review Contract Services
For those who have more intense time-consuming data needs, IMPACT offers a data or research review contract service. We collect the data you need and provide you with a literature review, a data book, an annotated bibliography, a best practices summary, or whatever you need to achieve your goals.

Other Services
IMPACT staff also have expertise facilitating planning processes, running coalitions, and providing trainings. From creating a Plan to End Homelessness to training staff on ways to access Census data sets, IMPACT can help you on the path to achieving your mission.

Eligibility Criteria:


Applying for Services:

Please contact for more information and to make an appointment to discuss your research project ideas and needs with us.

Referral and Intake:

Contact Information:

Phone: 312.870.4949
Fax: 312.870.4950


33 W. Grand Avenue, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60654



Monday- Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. 


With advanced notice, Heartland Alliance services can be provided in more than 35 different languages.


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