Theory of Change is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused in particular on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. This website includes everything you need to know in order to understand and create a Theory of Change.
This Partnerships for Strategic Impact document breaks down how to talk to funders about ROI in two ways: 1) Understanding what data can and cannot tell you, and 2) Making data-informed, value-driven funding decisions.
Leaders of organizations in the social sector are under growing pressure to demonstrate their impacts on pressing societal problems such as global poverty. This Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard Business School working paper reviews the debates around performance and impact, drawing on three literatures: strategic philanthropy, nonprofit management, and international development. We then develop a contingency framework for measuring results, suggesting that some organizations should measure long-term impacts, while others should focus on shorter-term outputs and outcomes. In closing, we discuss the implications of our analysis for future research on performance management.
This Usable Knowledge white paper breaks down tips to hiring an evaluation consultant, thoughts about what to look for in an evaluation consultant and how to select and hire one for your next evaluation project.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review breaks down how local governments and nonprofits can work together for large-scale community change using 5 steps of shared leadership.
Robin Hood fights poverty in New York City. The goal is to make grant decisions to maximize poverty-fighting impact, much like a financial manager chooses investments to maximize profit. The metrics project described in this manuscript has been designed to create just such a scorecard, showing ratios that guide investment decisions as financial rates and giving grants to programs that yield high benefit-cost ratios. Grant-making decisions rely on the detailed expertise of program officers as well as numerical calculations. Metrics are always under revision, a virtually never-ending project.
Depict Data Studio breaks down how to transform a text-heavy report into a visual-lite report in five easy steps that you can tackle in just two hours: Including a 20-Minute Cover, a Text Hierarchy, a Color-Code by Section, Intentional Page Breaks and More Visuals.
This policy visualization design guide breaks down each element needed to convey a powerful story using visualization.
Use this data visualization style guide to create a uniform look and feel to all of Urban’s charts and graphs. This site contains guidelines that are in line with data visualization best practices and proven design principles. It also eliminates the burden of design and color decisions when creating charts.
Stephanie Evergreen's short blog post breaks down visualizing small datasets.