Think Impact director Kevin Robbie, offers five building blocks to get the right foundations in place for your Theory of Change.
If you don’t have the right foundations in place then your building won’t last long. This is also true when you are designing for impact.
It doesn’t matter if you are building a high-impact not-for-profit organisation, making a philanthropic grant, commissioning government services or planning an impact investment seeking a blended social and financial return – being clear about what you want to achieve is crucial.
At Think Impact, we see a growing demand from organisations across all sectors to clearly articulate their Theory of Change (ToC).
The practice of Theory of Change development has advanced significantly in the past decade – even if the jargon still remains. Put simply, a Theory of Change is the framework that explains what you expect to happen when you fund or invest in something or carry out an activity to improve circumstances.
The approach has moved beyond being just a logical planning tool to enable good evaluation to occur. Thankfully, there is no longer the debate amongst funders about the need to measure outcomes rather than just activity and outputs. But despite this we’re still repeatedly seeing organisations from all sectors often fail to get the right foundations in place for a good Theory of Change…