How We Measure Success
Our Theory of Change
In philanthropy, best practice dictates that an effective evaluation plan begins with a clearly articulated theory of change. This theory presents the rationale for how a foundation’s work will drive positive change in target communities. Our theory of change flows from our mission and contends that educational supports are critical to helping children escape from poverty.
Poverty in childhood, and especially deep poverty in early childhood, is associated with a broad range of problems in physical/biological, cognitive/academic and social/emotional development. For children living in high-poverty areas, few supports and/or resources exist to help families address these needs. The challenges are even greater when families face multigenerational poverty.
The Foundation seeks to improve opportunities for children living in poverty by building the capacity of support systems serving their communities. Through these improvements, children will have access to high-quality educational opportunities and services so they are able to grow and thrive.
The Foundation approaches its work using a socio-ecological lens, meaning that:
- The interests of the child take precedence in all programmatic decisions
- Parents play the most meaningful role in shaping a child’s experiences
- Schools play a central role in families’ lives as trusted and familiar resources
- Community resources and public policies are key to ensuring resources and services are accessible to children and families
This perspective is critical to understanding the complex factors that contribute to a child’s success, and it provides an evidence-based framework that guides the design and implementation of the Foundation’s initiatives.