Many issues the charity sector is trying to tackle are systemic—originating from how our society is structured, rather than any isolated factor. Systems change—or ‘systems thinking’—is a way of trying to get a handle on this complexity to bring about positive social impact. What’s more, we think it helps charities and funders to be more aware of the systems they are a part of. This way, they can be sure they are making things better, not worse, in the long run, and are working towards lasting change.
Featured resources and commentary on systems change
Systems change has been attracting the attention of those in the social sector who want to deal with the root causes of problems, but, despite the buzz, much of what is written is abstract in tone. With the support of LankellyChase Foundation we have produced this guide to plug a gap in the systems change literature—providing accessible material and recommendations for action.
We think that, applied well, theory of change can support charities and funders to take a systemic approach to their work. This report identifies five common pitfalls that organisations fall into when using theory of change, and walks through five rules of thumb that will help organisations to use the approach to tackle complex problems.
'Charities and funders don’t need to become experts in theory of change and systems change to benefit from them.' A week after we launched our new guide to theory of change for systems change, one of it's authors, Katie Boswell reflects on the process the team went through to create it, and what they learned about thinking big in pursuit of change.
Julian Corner Chief Executive of the Lankelly Chase Foundation argues that as change rarely comes in the form we expect, our strategies to achieve it should be just as flexible.
Covid-19 means charities must develop adaptive strategies, but how can we do this well?
The hard reality of system interdependence is being brought directly into our homes and news feeds. What lessons will we learn? What changes will it bring? Now is the time to bring systems change out of the clouds and into the mainstream.
A collaborative effort to help philanthropists keep charities serving throughout the coronavirus crisis, and prepare for whatever challenges the post-covid world will hold.
Systems change is attracting more and more attention lately. Charities and funders have been telling us what barriers they face when ‘doing’ systems change. Here's how they might overcome three common issues.
State of the Sector 2020: Why insights and understanding are vital at this critical time for the charity sector
State of the Sector is our comprehensive survey of the opinions of charity leaders. PwC are proud to once again be co-sponsors of this research, at this critical juncture for the charity sector.
Funders Together to End Homelessness - a network of funders which supports strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness. This blog discusses the importance of collaborating and systems change in preventing and ending homelessness.
Charities and funders seem to be missing from all the parties' manifestos in the 2019 general election, but they will be a vital partner for any future government. NPC Head of Policy Leah Davis introduces our manifesto, which explores the openness required for the future relationship to have impact.
State of the sector, our comprehensive survey of the opinions of charity leaders is returning for 2020. Theo Clay, lead researcher on the project sets out what's changed, what's stayed the same, and what we hope to achieve.
After a period focused on outsourcing, some in local government seem to be taking services back in house. Why is this happening and is there a danger charities will be cut out of providing vital services.
Becky Elton, Executive Director of Operations at Changing Lives shares the lessons she's learnt about system change.
The NPC team provide recommendations on what books to read this summer.