What is a theory of change?
Stated simply, a theory of change is a methodology for communicating the systemic changes that a group wishes to make. Used primarily by social impact organizations, a theory of change defines the communities to be served, outlines a set of basic assumptions about the needs of the communities, takes into account an organization’s assets, resources and toolkits, defines how the organization deploys its services to impact change, and articulates the overall impacts and outcomes that the organization wishes to achieve.
To understand the Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation’s theory of change, one must first understand our Mission, Vision and Values.
Our mission, vision and values:
Mission: Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight is dedicated to fostering the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired.
Vision: An accessible and inclusive world where people who are blind and visually impaired have the tools, resources and opportunity to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
- Impact: The best measure of our success is the impact we have on our community.
- Collaboration: We believe success and improvement is driven by the close collaboration of the blind and visually impaired community of people and organizations.
- Innovation: We foster innovative approaches that enable independence for people who are blind and visually impaired.
- Integrity: We demand the highest ethical standards of ourselves and those with whom we work.
- Inclusiveness: We value diversity and inclusivity.
Assumptions (the needs statement):
- There is a need to reduce barriers to accessibility and inclusion including:
- Technical and physical accessibility
- Access to education, employment, technology, among other things
- A more inclusive culture
- Innovative solutions are needed that promote inclusion and accessibility as well as reducing barriers to existing solutions.
- There is a need to identify new BVI partnerships.
- There is a need for more collaboration and less competition in the BVI field.
- There is no BVI Collective Impact organization/effort.
Our priority communities:
- BVI individuals
- BVI low vision and service providers
- The larger disability community
- BVI funding organizations
Theory of Change:
- How we do our work
- Closely collaborate with BVI (blind and visually impaired) individuals and organizations
- Foster innovative approaches to enable independence for BVI people
- Demand the highest ethical standards of ourselves and those with whom we work
- Value diversity and inclusiveness
- Our toolkits
- Advisory services
- Thought leadership
- Training and education
- Our 5 portfolios:
- Grantmaking for direct services
- Grantmaking for collaborations for systemic change
- Capacity building
- Large print publication business (Select Editions Large Type)
- Grantmaking initiatives that spur connections to rehab services
- The changes we seek
- To improve the quality of life and independence of BVI individuals
- To create a connected, productive and impactful BVI ecosystem with shared goals
- To improve workplace inclusion for BVI individuals