Making Caring Common
Raising kids who care about others and the common good.

Research + Initiatives

Making Caring Common leads a number of research projects and initiatives. From working directly with schools and teachers to spearheading national campaigns, we strive to make caring more common in all of our programming.


Making Caring Common leads a number of research projects and initiatives. From working directly with schools and teachers to spearheading national campaigns, we strive to make caring more common in all of our programming.


Caring Families Research Project

Parents are inundated with strategies that seek to promote positive behaviors in children. Yet remarkably little is known about basic, crucial questions related to the implementation and impact of these strategies.

Making Caring Common is in the early stages of piloting and assessing a variety of engaging activities, practices, and routines designed to promote empathy, gratitude, and diligence in children ages three- to 13-years-old in the United States. We will be looking at differences in strategy selection, implementation, and impact by gender, race, ethnicity, class, and child-raising priorities of the parents and primary caregivers across who participate.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, our team is focused on bringing together experts in the field, expanding our network of aligned organizations, developing and adapting strategies, and testing distribution approaches. If your organization is interested in learning more, please email Alison Cashin at

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Character Assessment in College Admissions

Colleges and Making Caring Common are working together to develop new character assessment tools.

With support from the John Templeton Foundation, Making Caring Common and colleges are collaborating to develop, pilot, and assess new character assessment practices in admission offices. Our goals are to:

Develop and pilot new character assessment tools and processes

Identify tools and best practices that can be replicated across field

Send young people new messages via assessment systems about what matters to college and society

We are eager to work with college admission leaders who are:

Committed to placing value on students’ ethical and performance character in the college admissions process

Want to closely collaborate on the piloting of new tools with our team.

We are currently working with a small number of colleges in the 2018-2019 academic year. College admission leaders interested in learning more or collaborating in 2019-2020 should contact Trisha Ross Anderson at for more information.

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Turning the Tide College Admissions Campaign

Join college admissions officers in reshaping the college admissions process to value ethical and intellectual engagement.

College admissions plays a powerful role in shaping student attitudes and behaviors. More than 175 college admissions offices, including all the Ivy League colleges, are making changes aligned with our Turning the Tide goals of:

Developing greater concern for others and the common good among high school students;

Increasing equity and access for economically disadvantaged students; and

Reducing excessive achievement pressure.

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Empathy in Schools Research Initiative

Help us test empathy-based approaches in your school.

We know that educators want to help students become more empathic and caring but often lack strategies they can implement with ease, flexibility, and regularity.

As part of our Empathy in Schools Initiative, teachers, counselors, and other interested school staff test empathy-based approaches grounded in our work with more than 170 schools over the last four years. If you are an educator in elementary, middle, or high school, we encourage you to join today!

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Caring Schools Network

In caring school communities, students can grow academically, build healthy relationships, and develop key social and emotional skills such as empathy and gratitude. Caring schools can help reduce bias, combat sexual harassment, and minimize bullying and other problem behaviors.

Using Making Caring Common’s School Culture and Climate Surveys, schools in the Caring Schools Network (CSN) collect data related to:

School values


Bullying, discrimination, and harassment

Student and adult relationships

Rules and expectations

Schools then work with our team to use data and light-lift strategies to improve school culture and climate and to build key skills in students over the course of an academic year.

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Youth Advisory Board

Help us amplify youth voices and perspectives.

Making Caring Common’s Youth Advisory Board is a diverse group of high school students from across the country who are committed to making schools more caring and respectful places through everyday interactions. Members guide our understanding of and help devise solutions to the most pressing moral issues and social challenges of their peer groups, such as bullying and exclusion. They provide feedback on our ideas, share their thoughts on current events, and make sure we’re on the right track when communicating information to young people.

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