How we partner for purpose

Strategy & Systems Change
Making sense of complex systems and creating powerful strategies requires practical insights. Spark leads the way in producing actionable insight through consulting, evaluation, and facilitation – help you move forward meaningfully.
Your journey of equity is good in theory but better in practice. Spark partners with you, communities, and individuals to bring tools to grow impact equitably.
Learning & Capacity Building
Your impact craves capacity to keep pace with change and be sustainable. Spark brings personalized solutions with our hearts, heads, and hands to build your capacity for impact.

Your tools for impact

Tools for Social Innovators is a community toolbox from experienced and cutting-edge social innovators. These resources provide practical tools to help funders, nonprofits, businesses, and community leaders enhance their ability to create impact and produce results.

Strategic Learning

The Strategic Learning toolkit from Spark provides you with a foundational ability to communicate across your organization what strategic learning is and why it’s important for your company.

Adaptive Planning

This toolkit lays out and explains each step of the adaptive planning process to enable you to increase utility, relevance, and sustainable and scalable impact. It’s accompanied by robust, tactical guidance and resources that strengthen your ability and confidence to successfully facilitate an adaptive strategy within your organization.

Developmental Evaluation

Making sense of complex systems and creating powerful strategies requires practical insights. Spark leads the way in producing actionable insight through consulting, evaluation, and facilitation - help you move forward meaningfully.

Do Good, Even Better

Our Partners

Our Team

The leadership team at Spark has nearly a century of collective experience working with foundation and corporate leaders, communities, and non-profits to produce impact and results.

Kim Riley


Kim has more than 28 years’ experience working in community health education and research focused primarily on health disparity issues in underserved communities.
Kara Underwood


Christopher Diaz

Senior Researcher

Christopher Diaz is a Senior Researcher at Spark Policy Institute. For the past twelve years, he has evaluated programs and provided technical assistance for two state legislatures, a university research institute, and various state and local agencies and nonprofits.
Kyle Brost, is the CEO of Spark Policy Institute, where he leads an interdisciplinary team that works to create meaningful change through adaptive, strategy design and high-quality research.
Daniela Hernandez, MSS

Project Coordinator

Daniela Hernandez helps facilitate projects through coordination, handling logistics, organizing, research, and community engagement in a variety of setting.
Kristin Lacy


Kristin provides research and evaluation services focused on food systems development, health equity and community engagement in domestic and international settings.
Joby Schaffer

Senior Researcher

Joby has expertise in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. He has led research projects with methods ranging from computer lab experiments, to public opinion surveys.
Kerry Vachta

Senior Researcher

Dr. Vachta has a Ph.D. in Forestry from Michigan State University with emphases in community/social forestry and urban/community and environmental sociology and an M.A. in Ecological Psychology.
Alexander Dane


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Read the Latest

From the Blog

Community Navigator Work
March, 07 2019
This last month, in partnership with the Denver Foundation’s M. Julie Patiño, Barclay Jones, and LaDawn Sullivan; Joby Schaffer wrote an article featured in The Foundation Review. The article, Community Navigation as a Field of Practice: Reframing Service Delivery to Meet the Needs of Communities’ Marginalized Populations, calls out lessons learned through the Basic Human Needs Navigator ...
Research has traditionally defined rigor as obtaining an unbiased estimate of impact, suggesting the need for experimental or quasi-experimental methods and objective, quantitative measures in order to obtain trustworthy results.
Economic Growth
September, 22 2018
In continuation of the dialogue on the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, our July Social Innovators Breakfast focused on Colorado’s Economic Growth. We had three amazing panelists that guided the discussion and that we owe our deepest appreciation: Jake Williams: Healthier Colorado Elizabeth Garner: State Demography Office, Department of Local Affairs Lauren Ris: Colorado Water ...
Housing Affordability
September, 04 2018
Our Social Innovators Breakfast Series summer focus, Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change, continued in June with a panel discussion on housing affordability. We are grateful to our three panelists for representing a range of perspectives and experiences, and for sharing their expertise and lessons learned: Claire Levy, Executive Director of the Colorado Center ...
In May 2018, our Social Innovators Breakfast Series launched a special summer focus: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of Systems Change. Though we anticipate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) will be an important component for all events in the series, we decided to kick things off with a DEI-specific topic: Navigating the Unintended Consequences of moving ...
We’ve been busy this Spring! As promised, we want to be transparent in sharing our journey to incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles here at Spark. This blog post describes our DEI updates since May. Tools for sharing and reflection One of the early activities identified in our DEI plan was to develop a ...
Over the past few years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the need for “systems change” to achieve large-scale social impact. As someone deeply embedded in research and evaluation at the systems-level, I fundamentally believe that addressing complex problems requires system-level solutions. An increasing emphasis on systems – including a greater focus on multi-stakeholder ...
In April, I had the pleasure of facilitating the Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments (ANHE) two-day strategic planning retreat. The goal was to chart a path forward that incorporated equity into their work, and we conducted interviews with members of the nursing community who were familiar with ANHE to understand how ANHE could best ...
We are committed to being open and transparent throughout our process of implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Spark. We have a lot of progress to share this month and hope it will be helpful to our staff, local community, peers, clients, and the people most affected by our work. After announcing our DEI ...