YW Boston featured in ‘What Are Intended Impact and Theory of Change and How Can Nonprofits Use Them?’

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The Bridgespan Group featured YW Boston in their December 2020 blog post, “What Are Intended Impact and Theory of Change and How Can Nonprofits Use Them?” A few years ago, YW Boston worked with The Bridgespan Group on clarifying our intended impact and our theory of change. The Bridgepsan Group’s mission is to “build a better world by strengthening the ability of mission-driven organizations and philanthropists to achieve breakthrough results in addressing society’s most important challenges and opportunities.”

 

The blog post focuses on YW Boston’s experience, as means of illustrating how other organizations can work to develop their intended impact and theory of change. Here is an excerpt from the post:

“Consider the experience of YW Boston. As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been advancing equity for over 150 years. It has the same mission as other YWs: “to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

Like many organizations with a long history, YW Boston’s programs had grown over time, served a variety of audiences, and did not necessarily fit together around a clear goal. “With a budget under $3 million and six separate programs, we realized that we were not able to have the impact we wanted in the city because we had such a disparate portfolio,” says YW Boston’s Beth Chandler, who had recently become the organization’s CEO at the time it began to look at its intended impact and theory of change. “We felt that we should be at the forefront of issues of racism and empowering women, but we were getting lost because it was hard to say who we were and what we were doing—since we were doing so much. So we decided, with support of our board, to take a hard look at how we could have the greatest impact and influence in Boston.””

 

Read the full blog post to learn more from our experience.

 

 

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About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. YW Boston’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Through DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, YW Boston helps individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, YW Boston is working to provide organizations with digital workshops and resources to help them better understand the challenges faced by their employees. As part of this work, YW Boston is helping organizations deliver on promises of greater racial equity and supporting workplaces looking to become socially connected while staying physically distant. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at sheera@ywboston.org.