theory of change template

Whether you are running for political office or are trying to get the wheels turning on a movement you believe will do tremendous good for anyone willing to listen, the catalyst to any revolutionary platform
is change.

woman with make up on and a mask

The goal of any organized effort to make the world a better place centers around the idea of change.

You and the people you intend to represent in this goal are unhappy and unsatisfied with the way things are in terms of a specific area of life, and through your efforts.

You know what the optimal outcome of all of your efforts will be, but as with anything worthwhile, it takes time and detailed planning to allow you to realize your vision of a better tomorrow.

It is one thing to have an amazing idea or set of ideas that will truly benefit people while simultaneously ensuring that it does not negatively affect anyone in the process.

You could have the very best of intentions with your chosen platform, but if it is not completely laid out in a detailed and descriptive manner, your movement could be lost or never reach as many individuals as it could if all aspects of this idea were explained thoroughly.

A theory of change template is an extremely thorough tool that allows you to map out all aspects of your mission so that the end result is as close to what you had envisioned as possible.

Components of a Theory of Change Template

A true theory of change template will not only lay out all of the aspects that will work in unison to allow for a true realization of the central goal but will include distinct linkages between these concepts to clearly show how these broken-down actions and responsibilities relate to one another.

Known as the outcome pathway, this flowchart of sorts will explain the significance of each item on the list and how they are dependent upon in each other in covering every aspect of your mission.

This model will also allow a picture to be painted on the chronology of the specific items that must be done in a specific order to obtain the goal of true change.

Filling out a theory of change template will also allow you to solidify your own idea because it gives you to dissect every inch of the idea so that you can quickly pinpoint any potential shortcomings. There are several different models that can be utilized to lay out the components of your mission of change, but what has shown to be most effective is one that forces you to ask questions relating to all of the pieces that come together to form your movement.

There will be spaces provided to add in self-evaluation and notes to each key concept so that you can continuously go back and add in anything you have learned about each step so that it can better help you visualize what you have accomplished before moving on to the next step of your mission.

The following are the components of your very own theory of change template listed in the best possible order to allow you to build up all components of your goal in a way that makes the most logical

Each section will be listed as a question to allow the gears of your brain to start moving for true self- reflection to allow yourself to become even more steadfast and firm in each area.

If you do not understand and believe in each area of the work that you intend to do, it is not realistic to expect others to believe in your message.
The following model will eliminate all guesswork and provide key visualization of every piece of your plan to help you succeed in whatever it is that you set out to do for the good of the people.

What Is the Problem You Are Trying to Solve?

Before working out the ideas for a potential solution, you must first completely lay out exactly what it isn’t that you feel needs to be changed.

man speaking

To be used as a running example through the entirety of the theory of change model, we will say that the goal in this instance is to create a mental health center that utilizes therapeutic animals to help people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that can be improved with companionship. We now have identified the problem that we want to improve upon.

To be used as a running example through the entirety of the theory of change model, we will say that the goal in this instance is to create a mental health center that utilizes therapeutic animals to help people with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that can be improved with companionship. We now have identified the problem that we want to improve upon.

Service animals in the form of therapeutic companions have been shown to highly affect those in need of nurturing to create a sense of peace within those that utilize them. Therapy pets are currently used on long airplane flights to quell feelings of anxiety and stress. They act as a security blanket of sorts, allowing the passengers to focus on the pet instead of their source of anxiety in the form of the plane ride.

This noted effectiveness is becoming increasingly transparent among many, and you want to be able to take this success and use it to establish a brick and mortar location where people can go to relieve some of the stressed out on them by everyday life.

You want to take the anti-anxiety effects of service animals a step further by opening the doors to people with depression.

Luckily, we live in a time where mental health issues of any kind are being taken more and more seriously. The previous commonplace response to anyone dealing with issues of the mind was that they were made up or all in one’s head is a commentary that is slowly but surely starting to die out.
You want to use the research and positive correlations between animal therapy and improvements of mental health to create a center in your community where anyone can stop in and hold, pet, and briefly
cuddle with an animal of their choosing with the intent of improving a person’s day and making them feel just a little less bad.

Who Is Your Key Audience?

The audience that you are trying to target is any group of people that could use a brief break from the stresses of everyday life. You want to help anyone dealing with depression, stress, or anxiety that has abuilt-in affection for animals.


You have decided to focus your attention on those in need of relief from mental health issues.

What Is Your Entry Point to Reaching Your Audience?

This section will include everything that you feel is necessary to bring your concept to the people you are targeting. In this case, you are looking for ways to make your mission clear and available to those in need of a respite from their issues with mental health.

A great forum to reach as many people as possible may be to create a platform on social media to discuss mental health in a safe and secure manner free from the judgment of any kind. You will focus a decent amount of time on building up this online community and increasing the number of people that find it therapeutic.

After establishing a rapport with all members of this safe space, you can gather feedback on whether or not they feel that a physical hub centered around animal therapy would benefit them. If the answer is a resounding yes, you have reached your target demographic and can begin moving on to the steps necessary to make your dream a reality.

What Steps Are Needed to Bring About Change?

You now have established a strong interest within your target audience and have identified all of the people that could benefit directly from your plan for an animal therapy center. You now have to detail the steps necessary to make this center a reality. You now have to figure out how to obtain the funding necessary to establish this center.

You will use this section to decide the most effective methods for obtaining funding.

Will you look for donations or gather funding from the significant amount of people interested in your program? Will you work to build a new building to house this center, or will you try to repurpose an existing building that is not currently being utilized? How long do you realistically think it will take to achieve all the funding needed to create the center?
Once all funds are collected, how long will it take to establish the location? What types of animals will you include in the center?
What Is the Long-Term Change You See as Your Goal?
Visualization is key in anything you do, and this section will allow you to envision the long-term goals of your mission.

At this point, you are assuming that all of the previous sections of your theory of change template have been successful in allowing you to establish a full brick and mortar therapy animal center to help those with mental health issues.

The center is truly helping those that utilize your services, but where do you take this success?

Will you work to create a franchise within your city? Do you want to extend this service throughout the country to help more people than just those restricted within your city lines?

Do you want to use this success to further shed light on mental illness and increasing the efforts necessary to make mental health issues fully recognized as something in need of more attention globally?

Key Takeaways on the Theory of a Change Template

A theory of change template is an extremely effective tool that can allow you to visualize every key question you must ask yourself to ensure that every aspect is treated with the attention necessary to
follow the flow chart of your goal.

It will allow you to lay out all components of your goal before moving on to who will benefit most from your mission. With your target audience in mind, you can decide the best possible ways to make your
goal known to this particular group of people.

The goal and audience are now determined, so you can focus on all of the steps necessary to allow that group of people to benefit directly from your cause.

Finally, after a successful campaign, you can focus on where to take things from there in terms of how your goal can be extended to as many people around the world as possible.