Theory of Change

Theory of Change

Theory of Change

 

Theory of Change

Theory of Change

Environmental Theory of Change

The problem

We live in a city-centered, atomized society in which our natural resources are ignored or take for granted. Americans do not create enough opportunity for exciting, challenging or meaningful engagement in the outdoors. Because citizens have not been taught to value our natural resources, they ignore or abuse the natural world—to the peril of us all.

How we address it:

Fresh Sound seeks out non-profits that teach its constituencies—both local and from away– that our human environment is part of the natural environment. These non-profits teach respect, care, and attention for the environment through experiential learning, especially to young people. The Foundation funds internships, summer fellowships and school programs in several different geographies that the trustees love. On a macro level, Fresh Sound encourages the work of advocacy organizations that have impact on public policy in the environment.

Economic Theory of Change

The problem

Rural and urban inner-city regions have holes in their economies that we have come to call leakages. Leakages mean that resources of money, talent and young people tend to flow out of the region, and few of those resources are coming back in. Leakages lead to a lack of local business opportunity and a subsequent flight of the young and the talented.
An increasingly global economy means that national and international businesses are often the dominant market force. These businesses tend not to make product locally and tend not to invest locally.

How we address it:

We are a small foundation. Our entry point is small specific investments that have a broad reach. We believe that pilot projects are cheap, fast, and create models for success. We look for pilot projects that test the opportunities for:

  • Sustainability
  • Self-empowerment and entrepreneurship
  • Strategies for partnership that create access to capital
  • Home-based in the region we are working in
  • Niche-themed

Arts Theory of Change

The problem

Arts organizations tend to focus more on their art than on their audience and their connection to their wider community. They are particularly susceptible to ignoring their organizational needs in favor of the arts they are creating. The Foundation believes that the arts are central to community development, both as an economic engine, and as a convener giving pleasure and enlightenment. We seek to create sustainable business models for the arts organizations we work with.

Rural arts organizations that Fresh Sound works with abide in multiple-audience communities.
The rural arts organizations have the challenge of having a split audience: the summer people who have one set of expectations, and the year round people whose needs and goals may be different. In Cambodia, our theory of action is to support the arts to recreate a vibrant national identity. Organizations have the challenge of identifying their community within the larger urban landscape. Often the first problem because of this complexity is naming the audience. The essential question the Foundation asks is: who are you serving?

How we address it:

Fresh Sound believes in encouraging arts organizations to get to know their audiences. Not only might their community of interest broaden if better defined, but may also lead to much more diverse programming.

In the context of listening, the Foundation has a history of supporting outside consultants, strategic plans, leadership development, and audience surveys.

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