Mapping Activist Networks with Brightbeam to Support Kids Nationwide

March 2021 – December 2021 // Nationwide Project // PARTNER CPRM

We are helping Brightbeam map and track its network of community activists to identify and leverage opportunities for new partnerships.

Brightbeam is the umbrella organization for three national platforms — Education PostCitizen Education, and Project Forever Free — and more than a dozen other local and regional sites. They recruit and train credible messengers to inform, inspire and organize their communities around education issues and hold decision-makers accountable for providing the learning opportunities children need to thrive. They are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to the purpose of shining a light on children living at the margins of American society.

A key strategic priority of Brightbeam’s work is systemizing their activism efforts and network to influence greater change locally and nationally for students and families. As part of this activity, Brightbeam is seeking to capture their full ecosystem of partners (activists, partners, and potential partners) in a more formalized way, enabling them to understand their current network and where there are possibilities to expand partnerships for greater collaboration and impact.

Brightbeam and VNL worked together on a social network analysis (SNA) so brightbeam can better represent the influence of their activists and staff to funders and grass-roots partners in cities and communities across the country to uncover opportunities for greater impact. SNA is a method used to measure the number and quality of relationships (or ties), and to increase the visibility of these ties for continuous quality improvement and strategic planning.

With a more complete picture of the people and organizations brightbeam partners with on this work, who those entities are connected to, and the vitality of all those connections, brightbeam and its partners will be better positioned to influence change for students and families. This analysis will give a clear understanding of where work overlaps and where collaboration is possible to further coalition-building efforts or reform efforts more broadly. 

Our Project Team

Sara Sprong

Sara Sprong

VP of Customer Experience

Kaley Bachinski

Kaley Bachinski, Msc

Senior Project Manager

Dr. Amanda Beacom

Dr. Amanda Beacom

VP of Research & Data Science

Project Resources

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