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Logic Models: More than just a funder requirement!

how resources, activites, outputs are the processes leading to the big outcome
Logic model

The best infographic, chart, or table for demonstrating your organization’s impact is still a well-crafted logic model.


Does that make you shiver-the words “logic model”? It should not.

As a nonprofit, how often do you craft logic models? Is it generally when a funder asks for one? Or, when developing a new program, do you create a logic model to ensure your activities and outputs are connected to the outcomes you want to achieve? Have you considered a logic model for your organization at a “30,000-foot view” to outline your culture, values, mission, vision, goals, and objectives?

The logic model can be a powerful and organized method to outline your strategic plan. When starting a nonprofit, many often look at the resources that will be needed; Staff, infrastructure, training, and revenue stream (donors, grants, program fees). Next, what will staff and personnel be doing, and what roles and responsibilities are needed programmatically and logistically to execute programs and services? These are the organization's activities and outputs resulting from your activities. Now comes the part critical to evaluation- your short and long-term outcomes. Ensure you distinctly differentiate between short and long-term outcomes with a timeline. Do you see immediate changes for some short-term outcomes, or are you looking at long-term outcomes to benefit the community and the world?

Often nonprofits get bogged down in the resources that will be needed and do not even make it to the outcomes they want to achieve. They are so consumed with raising money to support overhead and personnel that they lose their way in what is specifically needed to accomplish the critical outcomes.

The best way to develop a logic model is in a reverse method. Nonprofits are created to solve problems, provide services, and overall improve a community. Most nonprofits are eager to talk about what problem they need to solve, why they need to solve it, and how they intend to solve it. So, I advise them to outline the outcomes (short, mid, and long-term) they want to achieve. Then I ask them to lay out the programs and activities they intend to use and, of course, what resources it will take to do all of this work. Once they start in this order,

logic model in reverse direction
How a reverse LM is better to construct

it is an easier, faster, and simpler method to organize your priorities and logic model!

If you are a nonprofit struggling to get your plans and strategy off the ground, try this to break out of your conundrum and be excited about the direction, programming, and solutions you need to bring into your community.

If you need further assistance to solidify those plans, contact us at

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