Intended Impact and Theory of Change Resources

Intended impact and theory of change clarify what impact a nonprofit will hold itself accountable for and how it will achieve it. The resources here include an article that describes the concepts in-depth, a toolkit with templates for builiding an intended impact and theory of change, and case studies detailing how a number of organizations approached developing their own.


 
 

What Are Intended Impact and Theory of Change and How Do Nonprofits Use Them?

By Lindsey Waldron, Butch Trusty, Preeta Nayak, and Yvonne Bettancourt
Strategy is all about getting critical resource decisions right. But developing a clear, effective strategy can be a long process full of difficult tradeoffs. One way to smooth the path is to clarify your nonprofit’s intended impact and theory of change. These powerful concepts can help your organization refine the goals it commits to achieve and map the road for how to accomplish them. Read more >>

How to Develop Your Intended Impact and Theory of Change

The templates in this toolkit are designed to help your organization develop or refresh your intended impact and theory of change. The templates provide an overview of each step and worksheets that guide your team through critical considerations. Use the templates >>
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Intended Impact and Theory of Change Case Studies

The type of work a nonprofit does influences how it will approach developing an intended impact and theory of change. These three case studies—two about organizations based in the United States and one in sub-Saharan Africa—describe what each nonprofit prioritized in their approaches.
  • The Bail Project: An example of an organization with a mix of direct service and advocacy work
  • FAWE: An example of an advocacy- and research-focused NGO
  • IMPACCT Brooklyn: An example of an organization with mutiple program areas