My board president, past-president, and I attended Aurora’s training on Theory of Change to assist our organization in planning for the future.  The level and nature of participation was simply exceptional. Al Onkka led concrete exercises with concrete examples, excellent analysis and feedback. The time flew by! I walked out of the training with a useful tool to roll out to the entire board.  – Wendy McCormick, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County, Ohio


A theory of change is a powerful tool that helps an organization articulate the connection between its mission and its programs, using the language of outcomes. It’s an organizational story of how and why the world will be different because of what it does. A theory of change is an argument for why you exist and why you are effective. Because of this, a theory of change has important implications for the leadership of an organization, both staff and board.

In this one-day workshop, we explore what a theory of change is, how an organization can use a theory of change, and the implications of a theory of change for staff and board leadership. The workshop is a combination of presentation, discussion, and hands-on practice. Throughout the workshop, participants will practice creating a theory of change and leave with strategies for bringing the concept back to their team.

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This workshop requires no previous knowledge. It is ideal for any staff member with leadership responsibilities at the organization or program level. This workshop is also beneficial for board members to attend and we encourage board and staff members from an organization to attend together.


This workshop is offered in a one-day or two-day format. The one-day workshop is ideal for learning about theory of change and practicing its application. In the two-day workshop, organizational teams will create a draft theory of change to bring back to their organization.

Previously Presented at

  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
  • Hubert Project at Humphrey School of Public Policy, University of Minnesota
  • The Center for Nonprofit Resources
  • Findlay-Hancock Community Foundation