The Young Foundation approached NPC to be the evidence partner for its Education Incubator and Investment Fund, known as ‘The Young Academy‘. The Academy provides specialist capacity development and risk capital to early-stage enterprises working to raise the attainment of disadvantaged young people.
Over the course of four years, we will be working with 60 ventures from London, Nottingham and the South East to help them develop their theory of change, capture relevant impact data and ultimately evaluate their impact.
So far, we have worked with around 40 organisations, some of whom are piloting their ideas, some with a more developed delivery model, and some who are scaling up. As the ventures are at different stages of development, we are working with each on a one-to-one basis, providing bespoke support, as well as developing some written materials.
This guide is for people setting up new projects in the education sector. It offers step-by-step advice on what evidence and data to collect, and how to collect it. It is based on NPC’s experience of supporting around 40 organisations through the Young Foundation’s Young Academy education incubator programme.
A decade ago, the term ‘theory of change’ meant little to the UK charity sector. Seen as a piece of American evaluation jargon, it did not conjure up much enthusiasm. But today, more and more charities are using theories of change, and more and more funders are asking to see them. So what is a theory of change, and why is it so valuable?
A theory of change is a tool that allows you to describe the need you are trying to address, the changes you want to make (your outcomes), and what you plan to do (your activities). It can help you improve your strategy, measurement, communication and partnership working.