A theory of change is a different way of thinking of your impact in the world.
You start with the change you want to see – your vision of something better. You then spend a lot of time working back, asking yourself: how do we get there?
When we thought about the difference we wanted to make in the world, we decided that what we wanted to see was a vibrant and dynamic community of organizations, formal and informal, working together cooperatively to make each other better, help each other grow, and make their shared collective space a healthier place to live. We wanted to see a community that believed in sustainability, in living in tune with the earth, and of living what we learned on hiking trails: pack out what you pack in, and leave the place better than you found it.
When we asked how we’d get there, we had lots of ideas.
We wanted to see a multitude of nonprofit community organizations, building the social fabric of our shared lives. We wanted to see a rich tapestry of cooperative businesses and communities, built on the idea that people working together can build solutions that help everyone meet their needs. We wanted to see leaders with humanity, dedicated to growing their organization in a win-win-win way.
And when we asked how we’d get there, we knew that there needed to be resources to build on the strengths of our already strong community organizations. Support in taking the learned lessons from successes, and what we saw go wrong in places where we didn’t succeed as well, and apply them in ways to help grow.
That’s where we see ourselves fitting in – building on the strength of community. Helping people find solutions.