Accessibility Statement

About Logic Models

Definition

A Logic Model is a detailed visual representation of how a program will operate and lead to change. Specifically, the logic model shows how program resources (inputs), activities, and outputs will lead to outcomes and how those outcomes are connected to a program goal. Acting as a road map, the logic model shows the relationships and sequencing between inputs, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes and how they connect to the program goal. 

By mapping out how a program will operate and achieve results, logic models test the feasibility of programs—can this program be implemented in this timeframe, what resources and partnerships are needed, and will these activities lead to the intended outcomes and program goals.

Logic models also help set the metrics, or indicators, that will measure program success and implementation. They provide programs with a foundation for program design, implementation, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL). Finally, logic models help explain the program and its purpose to others, especially funders, and they make setting priorities, strategic planning, writing grants and Scopes of Work easier for organizations. 

Key Parts of Logic Models

  • Rationale
  • Program Outcomes
  • Program Goal
  • Inputs, Activities, Outputs
  • Assumptions, External Factors, Participant Strengths

Rationale

The program Rationale outlines the beliefs staff have about why the program will create change, or the theory of change for the program.  The program rationale is the challenge, problem, or need your program will address. It should be based on best practices, prior research, existing theories, and experience.

Program Outcomes

Outcomes are the most important section of the logic model and developing a logic model starts with outcomes.

Outcomes are the intended results of the program. This is the impact of a program. Outcomes include changes in behavior, attitudes, knowledge, or skills of participants or organizational partners. Outcomes can also include societal improvements in overall community health, environmental quality, or access to services.

Outcomes can take a while to happen, and often occur in a progression, or steps. To track how change happens over time, outcomes in a logic model are sequenced as short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Short-term outcomes lead to mid-term outcomes, and those lead to long-term outcomes, which support your program goal.

  • Short-term outcomes are the immediate effects of the program activities and outputs, and can be for participants, organizations, or systems. They tend to focus on changes in knowledge, attitudes, the skills of participants, or capacity changes in organizations. They usually happen within one to two years of starting a program.
  • Medium-term outcomes emerge from and build on the results of the short-term outcomes. They can focus on changes in behavior, policy, or the creation of new practices and norms. These changes might take longer and require regular participation or education by participants, organizations, and partners.
  • Long-term outcomes are the ultimate impact created by your program and could take two to five years to happen.

Program Goal

A Program Goal states the overall mission or purpose of the program, explains what the program wishes to accomplish, and sets the fundamental, long-range direction. The logic model, and programs, start with a goal statement.

Inputs, Activities, Outputs

  • Inputs or the resources needed to run the program and reach the outcomes. This is what organizations invest to implement programs and reach outcomes. Inputs include technology, space, transportation, materials, training, staff, funding, policies, information, or time.
  • Activities are the events or actions taken by the program to produce the outcomes. This is what organizations do to implement programs and create outcomes. Activities can include training for staff, curriculum development, art workshops, performances, policy development, program management, or monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) activities.
  • Outputs are the products of the program and used to monitor implementation. This is what organizations produce to implement programs. Outputs include the number of people served or trained, satisfaction with services and workshops, number and quality of partnerships, milestones or benchmarks met, social media hits, or plans or policies created.

Assumptions, External Factors, and Participant Strengths

Three additional elements of logic models help identify possible obstacles and assets to program implementation so that staff can recognize and address them:

  • Assumptions are conditions and resources that affect program implementation or outcomes (positively or negatively) and are assumed to be true. For example, funding will be available to support the program.
  • External or Contextual Factors describe the context or environment in which the program will operate, and situations beyond the control of program staff. For example, a pandemic, changes in state policy, or existing military policy.
  • Participant Strengths are the strengths participants bring to the arts engagement. Studies commissioned by Creative Forces  indicate that organizations should consider designing programs around the strengths of military-connected participants. 

Explore the Community Engagement Grantee Logic Model

The Creative Forces Community Engagement Grantee Logic Model is interactive and organized by different grant tiers. Learn more about the grantee logic model.

STAY CONNECTED

Stay updated on Creative Forces® news and events.