When you’re so busy working hard, how do you know if you’re making a difference? When you’re completely immersed in the nitty-gritty, you have no time to look around and see if what you’re doing is actually working. We’ve felt like that for a long time. So busy trying to manage Black Coffee as a probono side project, we’ve had no time to do anything else.
In 2021, we were invited to submit a proposal to the Mannifera Foundation. I knew straight away what I’d use extra funds for, and that was a theory of change.
Why is a theory of change important?
Well, I have a theory about the value of Black Coffee.
The theory that I’ve been talking about for since October 2014, is that Black Coffee helps Indigenous business owners connect with each other, which makes the whole scary journey of being a business owner a little less scary. This means that folks feel better in themselves, in their work and in their families and communities. Building better relationships means we can build better businesses.
That’s a great theory right? But how do I know if it’s actually true in reality?
In order for me to ‘prove’ that I’m right, I actually have to test my theory. We do this by
- writing it down in a document
- test the theory through evaluation
- revisiting the theory of change, update it
- testing the theory again … rinse and repeat
That’s what this project has been about.
With support from the Mannifera Foundation we have completed stage 1 – writing it down. The next stage is about testing our theory and getting feedback.
Black Coffee doesn’t exist in isolation. Many people from across the country have different ideas about what it is and how it should run, and why we do it. Over the next six months we are going to start testing the theory so we will be reaching out to as many people as possible for their thoughts, ideas and experiences of Black Coffee. We will be doing this through yarns and surveys. We would love to hear from as many people as possible.
Click here to read the Black Coffee Theory of Change (2023), and if you’d like to share your experiences, please reach out to Rachel Daniels, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to the next stage of the journey.