When you see a problem in the world that you want to solve, there are often many different ways to go about fixing it. Deciding how you would like to tackle that problem is key to your strategy.
For example, clients I will refer to as Jim and Scott are concerned about an environmentally sensitive forest which they would like to improve and protect. There are many different approaches to how they could direct their philanthropic support that we are exploring.
One option could be to fund a research study to understand the causes of changes to the forest and the impact of those changes.
Another option could be to support a public awareness campaign to engage others in understanding and speaking out about the threat to the forest.
A third option could be to fund efforts to impact policy that will affect the regulatory framework to protect the forest.
A forth option could be to fund a pilot project to explore an innovative way of looking at the issues in the forest.
A further option could be to fund treatments and remedies to manage and reverse the changes to the forest.
As you can see, each of these approaches – these theories of change – have merit. By considering the facts of the problem and by discussing the options with charitable organization partners, we are formulating how Jim and Scott would like to tackle the problem to achieve their goal of protecting the forest.
As a philanthropy advisor, I work with families and individuals to create and facilitate a safe and productive environment to articulate values, interests and goals. Together we develop and implement a plan to make giving meaningful, satisfying and effective.