How to convince a funder that you really do make a difference!

I’ve recently helped several people and organisations unpick and visualise their Theory of Change. It’s a workshop I really enjoy doing, as I know it can really help map out projects – and funding applications – and create change. And even over Zoom, this tends to be one of the liveliest sessions, with all participants becoming fully involved – leading to feedback like this, which really makes my day 😊.

“Thanks so much to you both for yesterday’s session.

The logical way the Theory of Change was set out was so helpful and I’m definitely going to use it to shape future applications, both in the day job and when helping my son’s school with their fundraising.  Going through the two worked examples together made it all so much easier to understand!  It was a really friendly group of people too.

Honestly, it’s really useful, practical stuff you are doing, and straightforward; like your business name suggests!  I really appreciate it when someone gets to the point, explains it well, and shows how to apply something practically.”

(from Liz, Business Development, Sponsorship & Grants Manager)

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed with ideas, problems, projects and activities your Theory of Change is an ideal place to start.
  • If you need to map out your outputs, your outcomes and your impact – it’s an ideal place to start.
  • If you like to visualise clear, logical pathways – then this is for you!

In fact, Theory of Change is an ideal place to start for any non-profit organisation.

It’s a vital stage to set up a monitoring and evaluation framework for your project or activity, but I also find it useful to use as a ‘project map’, to guide me through the different stages, and questions within application forms.

If you’re not familiar with Theory of Change or don’t know where, or how to start – then it can become that thing that you just keep putting off to another day, but a Theory of Change doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact the simpler the better.

If you would like to have a go at creating your Theory of Change yourself – I’ve put together a free guide; a template that helps you work through the process one simple step at a time. Just click here to receive it as a free download – but I promise, it’s much more fun – and much more valuable as a group activity!

Ideally, you won’t do this in isolation – you will involve a range of people, or organisations that might also have vested interest in the impact you make. (And that will also help you answer that common question ‘How have you involved your community in developing your project’)!

We all know that remote working has its challenges but with some simple online tools, and a willingness from participants to contribute I have found ways to make this a lively, enjoyable, and productive session.

If you would like to know when I am running the next workshop, just sign up to my free newsletter here and along with updates about forthcoming workshops, you will also receive news about where you can apply for grants, and other ‘industry updates’.

Remember to follow my Facebook Page to get lots more tips, guides and templates – and if you are looking for funding, then it’s well worthwhile joining my free Facebook Group Straight Forward Funding Sources.

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