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The Theory of Change: How Non-profits Can Scale Up Social Impact

Nurlin Salleh Stefanie Khaw Grace Seen Richard Lim Shariah Nelly Francis Khairunnisa Ghazali Tg Noraida Tg Mahmood Shie-Lynn Lim

As the social impact landscape continues to scale, it’s become more important than ever for non-profits to improve their governance practices, as this can help ensure maximal outcomes are achieved. This is where frameworks and methodologies can come into play, given their ability to guide strategies – critical for non-profits to define, measure, and implement their initiatives.

In this BCG report published in collaboration with Yayasan PETRONAS (the social impact arm of global energy group PETRONAS), we explore how non-profits can apply the Theory of Change framework to better articulate how, and why, a desired change is expected to happen, driving greater social impact. We also discuss why it’s imperative to complement the Theory of Change with impact measurement, which provides non-profits with a clear definition of success, and allows them to assess progress effectively.

Insights from the report are drawn from the work undertaken by Yayasan PETRONAS, and we deep dive into an example that provides important learnings for non-profits operating in Malaysia.