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Conclusions from CULTIVATE - Theory of Change

We had the great privilege in 2021 of being one of six “emerging nonprofits” to be chosen to participate in the CULTIVATE program with Next Stage Consulting. The program is designed to help leaders of small but growing nonprofit leaders develop their ability to build effective nonprofits across six capacities – leadership & strategy, management, program development, human resources, financial resources, and operations & planning. Now that we are successful CULTIVATE graduates and our final business plan is developed, we will do a series of blog posts to share with you what came out of the program. We hope that you will be as proud of it as we are and that you will feel excited to engage with us to move ASA into the future we envision.

One of the first concepts new to me that we discussed in CULTIVATE was a tool called a Theory of Change. From the program documents “Typically, a theory of change is a visual or graphic diagram that illustrates how a nonprofit’s assets and programs contribute toward its impact…[it] is a foundational tool for emerging nonprofit organizations in their efforts to strengthen their operations and attract human and financial resources toward growth.” ASA has had mission, vision and values from the beginning but the Theory of Change was a new concept for us and took on many iterations over the course of the year. But, we are proud to introduce you to where we landed:

As you likely already know, our mission is to help adoptive families through the unique challenges of building their forever families. And, hopefully, our logo is familiar to you too! Did you know that the ASA logo was thoughtfully designed to be a hug as seen from above? This was the inspiration of our theory of change. Adoption Support Alliance aims for our circles of support to embrace the adoptive family wherever they are in their adoption journey.

  • Our community building circle creates connection by putting adoptive families in informal, fun spaces together.

  • Our classes focus on issues common in and unique to adoption and equip families for success.

  • Connection groups, formed around a specific stage in adoption, are designed to support families through more in-depth relationships.

  • Finally, adoption-competent counseling serves to encourage families facing clinically significant challenges.

As families benefit from ASA’s programs, we hope you will become more deeply engaged. An active community, ready to serve one another, will widen our circles of support so that we can embrace more families and grow closer to achieving our vision of ensuring all adoptive families get the support they need to thrive.

Are you interested in engaging more deeply in the ASA community? Reach out to Erin Bost [link to email], our operations manager, and ask about our ASA Ambassadors program. What to support the organization financially? Sign up to be a monthly donor. Know a family who would benefit from our services? Please help us spread the word so that our circles of support can embrace others.


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