Theory of Change
Jefferson Community Foundation believes that the world’s most powerful strategy for change is to invest in the growth and engagement of skilled change makers throughout the community.
While the term “change maker” may initially feel fuzzy, in fact there are concrete skills and attributes that changemakers have, ones as real as those that scientists or musicians must develop.
- A change maker is, above all, motivated by empathy.
- They have the self-permission to voice their perspectives and believe deeply that they make a difference.
- They understand that the way a challenge is framed can change the way we work on it. For example, there is a difference between saying “The lack of affordable housing is a problem” and “How can our community gain 300 new units of permanently affordable workforce housing in the next 5 years?”
- They know how to work with others across traditional divides like race, age, and sector to research possible solutions and co-create their own group’s action plans based on the tools and assets they have access to in the community.
- They know how to change course and even end things when needed.
- They learn through each initiative or project they work on to become stronger change makers.
JCF is changing the future of Jefferson County by ensuring every resident has access to the support, information, and relationships they need to become skilled and effective change makers. We meet each individual where they are, invite them into the community conversation based on what they care about, and help them craft plans for manifesting the change they want to be in the world using the resources they already have at their disposal resources like ideas, time, skills or money.
We connect them with other change makers who share the same concerns. One person at a time, JCF weaves a growing network of people whose efforts are constantly evolving to respond to emerging opportunities: one group is focused on a new affordable housing project while another is working on a new childcare facility. One group is working on youth mental health while another is working on better ways to support local makers. People, opportunities, plans, and resources come together to have an impact and then disband. Each act, each accomplishment, builds on those of others, often others they have never even met.
The JCF staff and Board are the constant stewards of this agile and ever-changing network over time. Our motto is GIVE, BUILD, SOLVE.
GIVE: We help people better understand the landscape of challenges and opportunities we face as a community, so they can better target their gifts of time, talent and funds.
BUILD: We are long-term partners to local nonprofits, helping them develop the resources and relationships they need to grow stronger.
SOLVE: We serve as a hub for people to connect and make good things happen in the world.