We’re gearing up for our first Workshop Weekend of 2015, where we will bring together entrepreneurs from around Maharashtra for three days of social impact bootcamp and bonding. In preparation, we wanted to tackle one of the most difficult elements of a social start up: the Theory of Change. A Theory of Change is a roadmap that outlines the steps with which an organization plans to achieve its goal. As we onboard our next cohort of investees, a group of passionate social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, we share with you our favorite Theory of Change articles.
New Philanthropy Capital’s (NPC) Theory of Change guide allows you to think through the theory of change process from beginning to end. It describes the need you are trying to address, the changes you want to make (your outcomes), and what you plan to do (your activities). It can help you improve your strategy, measurement, communication and partnership working.
This World Bank article by Duncan Green, a Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam, discusses how a Theory of Change is both a way of thinking, and a set of questions. He attempts to explain how a good theory of change can improve an organization’s work or add value.
DIY (Development, Impact and You) presents a simple Theory of Change toolkit for entrepreneurs to clarify their priorities by defining their goals and the path to reach them. With a short video and a worksheet, it explains how a Theory of Change not only helps to clearly articulate and connect your work to your bigger goal, it also allows you to spot potential risks in your plan by sharing the underlying assumptions in each step.
The Bridgespan Group’s Matt Forti shares how simply putting boxes and lines down on paper will not guarantee that your organization will make better decisions. Forti presents six questions a good Theory of Change must answer and highlights six pitfalls that organizations must look out for while articulating a Theory of Change, especially with regards to accountability.