Create Your Theory of Change
Align your team and your organization’s work toward your vision for impact.
|DATES||March 8 – April 26, 2023 (See session dates and times below!)|
|LENGTH||9 weeks, 2-5 hours per week|
|OPEN TO||CO-based impact organizations|
|FORMAT||Cohort – a group of 4+ impact organizations|
|DEADLINE||Apply by Friday, January 20th|
Have questions? Interested in other dates? Let us know!
What you’ll learn
Get expert advice and peer support from other Colorado-based impact leaders to articulate your organization’s plan for creating impact.
Your Theory of Change tells the story of who you serve, what you do and the impact you intend to have. In this program your team will work together to develop your organization’s Theory of Change – both a narrative and graphic version – that you can start using immediately to align key stakeholders, including potential funders, your Board of Directors and internal team.
Learn more about why a Theory of Change is important:
- Listen to this podcast about our Theory of Change program
- Read this USAID overview: What is this thing Called a Theory of Change?
WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?
> Executive Directors
> Development/Program Directors
> Board Members
> New(ish) organizations
> Established organizations with new leadership or outdated plans
MEET THE FACILITATOR
Values-driven data & impact expert
Founder of CoEffect Consulting
Paul has spent the past 10+ years helping small and mid-size nonprofits get to the next level through his consulting company CoEffect. He’s been an active SVP Denver Partner for the past 3 years and successfully run our Theory of Change program six times, supporting more than 25 organizations.
OUTCOMES & BENEFITS
Why join the Theory of Change cohort?
WHAT YOU’LL WALK AWAY WITH
By the end of this program you will have:
- A Theory of Change describing your organization’s outcomes, activities, inputs, target population, and assumptions. This will be documented in both a narrative form (for inclusion in grant applications) and graphic form (for presentation).
- A list of next steps your organization will take to put your Theory of Change to use.
Participation should create the following impacts:
- Greater team alignment on your organization’s who, what, why, and how
- Greater understanding of what data pieces are important to monitor your organization’s performance
- Potential for better decisions on how to allocate resources to different program areas
- Potential for innovative new activities to fill weaknesses in programming
- Stronger tools for communicating what your organization hopes to achieve with funders.
SVP DENVER PARTNER SUPPORT
Each organization will get paired with 1-2 local professionals who will provide support throughout the program. They will:
- Join group calls: to discuss plans/progress
- Review of weekly projects: send back notes, comments and ideas
These Partners will have some relevant experience and be there to offer another set of eyes and a third-party perspective.
PEER LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
As part of this program, you’ll also connect with fellow participants from CO-based impact organizations:
- Live on Zoom: Four live sessions for people to check in and share learnings.
- Individual connections: You’ll be welcome to follow up with other participating teams to connect.
More about this training cohort
We’ll meet every other week with the full group to learn from our facilitator and each other. You’ll use the time in between to work with your team independently to create your Theory of Change.
- Session 1 – March 8th, 1:30PM – 3:00PM
- Session 2 – March 21st, 1:30PM – 3:00PM
- Session 3 – April 5th, 1:30PM – 3:00PM
- Session 4 – April 26th, 3:00PM – 4:30PM (+ a celebratory happy hour!)
To get the most out of the program, we suggest you set aside 2–5 hours per week:
- 1.5 hours – to join live sessions or work with your team. Please check the session dates to make sure you are able to attend them all!
- 2-3 hours – to work on your Theory of Change draft and/or do supporting research
YOUR PARTICIPANTS & ROLES
Each participating social mission organization is encouraged to have multiple people participate (2-5 is typical). You should have:
Internal Project Lead: This person will be the internal facilitator of their organization’s Theory of Change process and is accountable for making progress on this project. This person should have 3 – 5 hours per week to commit over the duration of the cohort.
Core Design Team Members: This should be a small group of 2-6 staff, leadership and Board members you’d like to engage in the process. Their participation is much more flexible, usually 1-2 hours per week.
What other SVP Denver cohort participants say
“I think the [theory of change] cohort probably saved us a year in terms of understanding what we do and why and for whom.”
Free Range Beehives
“You have given us the tools needed and a good foundation for crafting and presenting a winning pitch to investors, customers and partners. Each and every one of you have been instrumental with preparing our group to create and deliver a (tailored) pitch with passion.”
Program Manager, African Leadership Group
“We gained a tremendous amount from this cohort—having external unaltered feedback from various people with key components to keep in mind has strengthened our approach greatly!”
Executive Director, Mile High Youth Corps
“Our team had many fruitful conversations that helped us to examine the how, and more importantly, the what and the why of our work. These conversations not only help us communicate with stakeholders more effectively, but in guiding our own strategic planning efforts.”
-Tracy Flowers, Access Opportunity
“[We gained] a clear deliverable to use in messaging our work, clarity on our core theory of change and more ability to communicate concisely about it to outsiders”
–Roger Low, Colorado Equitable Mobility Initiative
of past participants would recommend
Frequently asked questions
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Is my organization too big / small for this program?
We believe the learning in this training cohort is applicable to organizations across a range of sizes and stages of development. You will work on developing a list of funders and strategies for approaching them that is specific to your organization (and based on your capacity to execute).
How flexible is the program? I’m not sure I can make all the sessions.
Somewhat flexible! At least one person from your team should be available to join all of the live sessions since you will also have time to work with designated mentors and your team during this time. We will also record every session and share out with all registered participants, so it’s ok if not all members of your team can make each session.
We will also send follow up emails with notes and resources after every session.
Why is this training free for my organization?
SVP Denver is a nonprofit that connects nonprofits and social enterprises with the expertise and support they need to grow their impact. We are primarily funded through grants and individual donations that allow us to offer our high value training for free (or at highly subsidized rates). We are committed to making our programs accessible to all organizations – especially those with inequitable access to resources.
How many individuals from my organization can participate?
A maximum of 4 individuals from your organization can participate in this training cohort. Let us know if you have questions about which members of your team would be the best fit.
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