Barr Foundation Knowledge Center

This collection includes publications and resources from our partners and in our program areas, both current and legacy. These resources are completely free to access and download. Most of these works were funded by the Barr Foundation. We may occasionally feature items relevant to our program areas which were not funded by Barr. Please be aware that views expressed are not necessarily those of the Barr Foundation. We encourage you to search our collection and suggest potential content to include (use "Suggest an Addition"). For questions or assistance, please contact feedback@barrfoundation.org.
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Drowned Out: Massachusetts residents' views on climate change

September 7, 2022

The MassINC Polling Group is proud to present Drowned Out: Massachusetts Residents' Views on Climate Change. This is our fourth in a series of major reports on climate change opinion in Massachusetts, going back to 2011. All of these reports were made possible with the generous support of the Barr Foundation. These results were first reported on by The Boston Globe's Climate Desk in April 2022. The Globe team did a fantastic job summarizing the findings, digging into the data, making a series of graphics, and interviewing poll respondents. The poll was also the subject of an Earth Week event featuring reaction and commentary from the Massachusetts State Senate, the Conservation Law Foundation, and others. As excellent as the Globe coverage was, there was still much more to unpack in this survey, including trend data going back to our earliest climate change polling. We hope that readers find this in-depth reporting interesting and useful as Massachusetts continues to grapple with the causes and effects of climate change. About the poll These results are based on a survey of 1,890 Massachusetts residents. Live telephone interviews and online interviewing were conducted in English and Spanish between March 23 and April 5, 2022. Telephone respondents were reached by both landline and cell phone. Oversamples were conducted to obtain a total at least 250 Black, 250 Latino, and 200 Asian residents. Results within race and ethnicity were weighted by age, gender, and education level. These were then combined and weighted by race, age, gender, education, geography, and party to reflect known and estimated population parameters for the adult population of Massachusetts. The credibility interval for this survey is +/- 2.6 percentage points for the entire sample, including the design effect. This poll was sponsored by The Barr Foundation.

New K-12 Parent Poll: Student mental health, academics pose challenge to Massachusetts schools COVID recovery plans

May 22, 2022

This poll surveys Massachusetts parents regarding their views about students' safety and academic preparedness related to COVID-19 and the state's COVID recovery plans. The pandemic brought long lasting academic and mental health concerns, which parents say remain serious challenges today. 

Results of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Survey fielded by Global Strategy Group

May 12, 2022

In May 2022, over 600 registered Massachusetts voters participated in a new survey. This survey showed Massachusetts voters remain concerned about climate change and optimistic about renewable energy. This survey was conducted in May 2022 by Global Strategies Group.Consistent with our findings from previous polls, Massachusetts voters remain concerned about climate change. Since the 2020 poll, there was a 5% decrease in the number of voters who were unsure if climate change was a problem or thought it was not a problem.As we observed in our Connecticut poll, Massachusetts voters of color also support the renewable energy transition at a higher rate than the general population. These findings reemphasize the importance of centering communities of color and their perspectives in regional energy transition dialogues and policymaking.Two-thirds of voters (68%) believe that a transition to renewable energy is realistic, an increase of more than 10 points since the 2020 poll.Solar and wind are extremely popular, and voters overwhelming want to see more solar and wind in the electricity mix.  A majority of voters (53%)also consider renewable energy to be either more reliable or as reliable as fossil fuels like natural gas.Voters have limited awareness of key actors in energy regulations and the power the influence they have over the clean energy transition. Only 8% of voters surveyed have heard of ISO-New England and even fewer could correctly identify their role in energy regulation.

Poll: Parents have high hopes that students will catch up after the disruptions of COVID

November 16, 2021

Massachusetts parents have high expectations that this school year will help their kids catch up after a year of COVID challenges and interruptions. More than a third (35%) of parents now expect their students will be ahead of grade level by the end of this year. That's actually higher than the 28% who said their children were at that level pre-COVID. But it's not clear that schools have the resources to achieve this expected turnaround, or that parents are even getting the information they need to adequately track their students' progress.Those are the top findings from the fifth and latest wave of a survey of K-12 parents statewide conducted by The MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by the Barr Foundation, in collaboration with the Education Trust Massachusetts. The project has tracked parents' attitudes and opinions about their children's education throughout the pandemic since the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Results of the Connecticut Clean Energy Survey fielded by Global Strategy Group

October 14, 2021

An October 2021 survey of Connecticut voters on clean energy shows broad support for clean energy solutions and a strong concern that climate change is already a crisis and getting worse.Description:A survey fielded by Global Strategies Group in October 2021 showed Connecticut voters view clean energy as an imperative to protect the climate and public health and safety.88% of Connecticut voters surveyed think that climate change is either a problem or a crisis, and eight in ten voters surveyed think it's getting worse. A significant majority of voters support a plan to transition to zero emissions by 2050 (68%) and zero carbon electricity (70%).Solar and wind are hugely popular among Connecticut voters, who support increasing their use in the state's energy mix by wide margins (87% and 74% respectively), while voters overwhelmingly support using less oil and coal (71% and 72%, respectively).Voters are generally split on whether gas is a clean energy source, suggesting there is more work to do in public messaging and education about the role that gas plays in worsening carbon emissions.Connecticut voters see a move toward clean energy as having potential to positively impact health and safety, with voters of color particularly optimistic. An overwhelming majority of Connecticut voters are ready for the state government to take bold action on a range of clean energy initiatives, with repairing leaking gas pipes at the top of the list (91% support), followed by provide incentives for people to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient (88%), incentives to homeowners to switch from propane, oil, or gas heating to cleaner alternatives such as heat pumps and funding for startup and emerging clean energy tech companies (both at 75%).

Climate - Clean Energy

What Do Students Have to Say about Learning and School During COVID-19?

July 30, 2021

In fall 2020, the Barr Foundation offered high schools the opportunity to hear firsthand from their stakeholders about the teaching and learning experience within the unprecedented educational environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten schools across New England opted to take advantage of this opportunity, partnering with YouthTruth to administer surveys to students (and in some cases, to staff and families), to gather information and insights about how they were faring nearly a semester into the 2020-21 school year.

Results of Energy Polling Survey fielded by Global Strategy Group

September 30, 2020

A September 2020 survey of Massachusetts voters on clean energy shows increasingly negative attitudes towards gas and other fossil fuels and heightened concerns about air pollution and public safety amidst the COVID crisis.Description:A survey fielded by Global Strategies Group in September 2020 showed Massachusetts voters continue to view clean energy as an imperative to protect the climate and public health and safety.65% of Massachusetts voters surveyed are ready for bold and decisive action to address the climate crisis, including a complete transition to clean and renewable energy statewide.Massachusetts voters trust scientists and public health experts above all others to convey the facts on energy issues. 85% of Massachusetts voters surveyed trust scientists and 82% trust public health experts to provide them with information on energy issues.Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly support using more solar and wind to generate electricity and a majority supports reducing our reliance on gas. 88% support using more solar, while 85% support using more wind. 52% support reducing reliance on gas.Finally, as the poll was conducted in the midst of the COVID crisis, in terms of stimulus spending to build back from COVID, providing assistance to people to pay their energy bills (86% support) and more incentives for energy efficiency (79% support) topped the list for Massachusetts voters followed by strong support for incentives to switch to cleaner heating alternatives such as heat pumps (68%).

Climate - Clean Energy

How much learning was lost? A survey of K-12 Parents in Massachusetts

July 1, 2020

These results are based on a survey of 1,502 parents of K-12 students in Massachusetts. Live telephone interviews and online interviewing were conducted in English and Spanish June 4-19, 2020. Telephone respondents were reached by both landline and cell phone. Oversamples of Black, Latino, and Asian American respondents were obtained to bring the total interview count up to at least 250 for each group. Results within race and ethnicity were weighted to age, gender, and education level for each group. Groups were then combined and weighted to the population parameters by race for the state as a whole.

Education - Public Will

Transportation in a changing world: Fewer trips, different trips, alone

May 27, 2020

A sharp increase in working from home could also spell huge changes in commuting patterns. Massachusetts residents say they will probably be making fewer trips as the state emerges from coronavirus crisis, but more of those trips will be by themselves, according to a new statewide poll out today. On balance, residents expect to drive or walk more, and use all types of shared or public transportation mode less.In all, 35% of residents say they will ride the MBTA subway less than before, and 33% say the same of the commuter rail. Among the most frequent transit users, 44% say they will ride the subway less, and 45% expect to drive more. Young people and Boston residents are among the groups indicating the biggest increases in driving.  

Climate - Mobility

Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector

February 5, 2019

This report reveals that women of color encounter systemic obstacles to their advancement over and above the barriers faced by white women and men of color. Education and training are not the solution—women of color with high levels of education are more likely to be in administrative roles and are more likely to report frustrations about inadequate and inequitable salaries. BMP's call to action focuses on systems change, organizational change, and individual support for women of color in the sector. 

Nonprofit Sector Effectiveness

Topline Survey Results of 300 Residents of the Silver Line/28 Bus Corridors

September 15, 2015

These results are based on a survey conducted by The MassINC Polling Group of 300 registered voters in zip codes around the routes of the MBTA Silver Line 4 and 5 and the MBTA Route 28 bus. Live telephone interviews were conducted September 9-14, 2015 via both landline and cell phone using conventional registration based sampling procedures. The data were weighted to reflect the demographic and geographic distribution of voters in the sampled zip codes. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 5.6 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Climate - Mobility

Forks in the Road: The Many Paths of Arts Alumni

May 3, 2011

Presents findings from a survey of visual and performing arts graduates about current employment, satisfaction with training and careers, ability to continue to create or perform, and elements needed to better connect arts training to artistic careers.

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