How to fill out a logic model for nonprofit grants

Many organizations cringe when they talk about evaluations, metrics, and measurements. It’s fun to talk about one’s program, but it’s often intimidating and overwhelming to think about tracking quantitative data about that program. And that means it can be hard to work on a logic model.


Occasionally in grant writing and often in writing federal grants you’ll be asked to fill out a logic model, a table that clearly outlines the program’s inputs, actions, outputs, and short- and long-term outcomes. Logic models break down the cause-and-effect relationship between the program’s activities and the change expected in participants receiving the program’s intervention.


Sounds like a mouthful, but it’s actually fairly simple. Don’t let that big, blank table that is the logic model intimidate you.


Here’s a breakdown of the items you should include under each column:


Resources or Inputs

These are the physical elements that go into your program, the ingredients aspect of your program’s recipe for success. This might include money, staff, participants, services, and partnerships.



This column lays out the methods used in the program, the actual activities that will occur as a result of the grant, like classes and trainings.



What can you quantify as a result of your program? How many people will be reached? How many will participate? What events will occur and how many?



These are the short-term benefits of your program, as opposed to the long-range, big picture changes you expect to see.



What permanent, lasting changes will your program have on participants and on the community at large?


See, that wasn’t so bad. Break it down step by step. And be sure to refer back to your program narrative to make sure you haven’t left anything out. Your logic model should be consistent with your narrative, and vice versa.


Need more help with the evaluation section of your proposal? Check out these other articles:


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