PIDC Introduces New Theory of Change To Drive Growth to Every Corner of Philadelphia

September 26, 2022

Categories: Sustainability,

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PIDC continued to drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia—closing 2,035 transactions in 100% of the city’s zip codes in 2021. We delivered and supported $725.5M in financing and $29.5M in COVID-19 relief grants and loans. In addition, PIDC sold 40 acres of land city-wide for job-creating projects. With a strong foundation and 64-year track record, PIDC identified the need to build upon the organization’s recent strategic planning and execution efforts and develop a Theory of Change.

A theory of change is a critical foundation that informs strategic growth, determines resource allocation, and helps internal teams, partners, and key stakeholders understand the path forward. Our Theory of Change guides PIDC’s mission of driving growth to every corner of Philadelphia with specific strategies, actions, and key performance indicators.

To develop this Theory of Change, we started with three intersecting lenses of racial equity, future of work, and resilience and sustainability. In this context, lenses are principles that inform the world view or perspective of an organization. These lenses highlight the complexity of Philadelphia’s and PIDC’s challenges and opportunities, the need for multi-disciplinary approaches to economic development, and to promote systemic change.

Racial Equity

Progressing toward a fair and just society in which all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential – and a world where racial disparities do not exist.

Future of Work

Adapting to the many forces of change affecting work, the workforce, and the workplace.

Sustainability & Resilience

Advancing development and growth in balance with the environment to support present and future generations.

To develop PIDC’s Theory of Change, PIDC engaged minority-, women-owned business enterprise Mattison Advisors to work collaboratively with the PIDC team through a dynamic participatory process leveraging a variety of tools and facilitation methods to surface insights and learning. Mattison Advisors facilitated various activities to engage PIDC’s team at all levels of the organization and the feedback from clients, community members, board members, city officials, and other stakeholders.  To engage a wide range of perspectives on PIDC and its work, Mattison Advisors hosted 17 focus groups and one-on-one interviews with 150 stakeholders.

PIDC’s Theory of Change

We believe that growing a global economy through inclusive economic development is critical to achieving a high quality of life for all who live and work in Philadelphia. Generating more equitable resources, investments, and quality jobs will address many of the long-term social, environmental, and economic challenges that residents of Philadelphia face. We will drive transformative growth for Philadelphians with a human-centered approach by directing our financial and real estate services, knowledge, and networks toward creating a vibrant and sustainable Philadelphia.


CLIENTS & PARTNERS: Philadelphia businesses, nonprofits, institutions, developers, and federal, state, & local government



Create and sustain internal capacity and external partnerships to scale the availability and breadth of economic development resources and solutions.

Capital Access & Services 

Expand financing and business support services to benefit under-resourced communities and marginalized populations.

Land Use 

Catalyze development of projects that create quality jobs, advance equity, and promote sustainability.

Knowledge & Networks

Share knowledge and networks to respond to client, partner, and market needs

Employee Well-being

Elevate the physical, mental, and financial well-being of PIDC employees and provide opportunity for each to thrive and grow professionally.


More quality jobs are available for Philadelphians.

Disinvested areas benefit from community-engaged investments that increase access to amenities, goods, and services for residents.

Stakeholders are better connected and positioned to take collective action.

Philadelphia attracts new resources that are more equitably and efficiently deployed.

BIPOC-owned and other under-represented businesses scale, pursue growth opportunities, build wealth, and create quality jobs.

Innovative solutions for clients and partners are driven by a diversity of perspectives and experiences.


A growing, global, and inclusive economy that achieves a high quality of life for all who live and work in Philadelphia.

The full set of strategies that align with each of these objectives can be reviewed on our website here.

Our mission at PIDC is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Compelling our work is our vision of a growing, global, and inclusive economy that achieves a high quality of life for all who live and work in Philadelphia. This new Theory of Change provides our staff, partners, investors, and clients with a clear picture of how we intend to achieve that vision.

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