Social sector organizations with strong logic models tend to have high-performance cultures and achieve greater mission outcomes. Because logic models connect an organization’s resources (inputs) and activities (outputs), they demonstrate how these inputs and outputs correspond to the ways the organization creates positive social change for its participants (outcomes). Typically condensed to a single page, a logic model distills what the organization stands for and what it is trying to achieve. Here are a few additional ways that logic models support the overall success of social sector organizations.
A Road Map to Success
Logic models provide a focused foundation or a road map for guiding and shaping all planning, resource management, communications, evaluation, and fundraising activities across all levels of the organization. By clearly articulating the outcomes the organization is trying to accomplish and taking the goals of the community into consideration, a logic model helps all stakeholders to actively and intentionally engage in reaching the organization’s desired outcomes.
Time and Cost Avoidance
New opportunities and circumstances arise all the time. To make the most efficient use of resources, only opportunities that are sure to move the organization’s mission forward can be pursued. Having a logic model in place greatly simplifies the decision-making matrix—vastly reducing the amount of time and resources that social sector leaders invest in exploring each new opportunity. By quickly navigating these decisions, more time, energy, and focus can be spent on advancing the organization’s mission.
Funders, donors, and sponsors of social sector organizations are constantly inundated with funding requests. To cut through the noise, organizations with logic models in place can quickly educate these investors about the organization in a way that depicts the organization’s strategic deployment of its resources, while also describing the precise social return on investment the organization is striving to achieve. In short, the logic model helps social sector organizations demonstrate its impact to funders.
A Rubric for Program Evaluation
Well-developed logic models help organizations target the right measures for tracking its outputs and outcomes on behalf of its participants. There are countless outputs that any given organization produces, and while many are necessary (regulatory in nature, for instance), there are ample outputs that actually have no bearing on the organization’s actual mission outcomes.
Individual programs can be evaluated regularly against the program’s or organization’s logic model to ensure that the programs are accurately measuring participant needs and maximizing the organization’s resources to achieve the greatest social impact possible. When evaluating an individual program, you can use the logic model as a rubric. Here are a few additional considerations as you work to improve and evolve the effectiveness of your program:
Did the program results prove the original hypothesis that is stated in the logic model?
Do the inputs truly correlate to the outcomes as stated in the logic model?
What new findings did the program yield?
Did the program trigger any unintended consequences—good or bad?
How can you improve the participant experience?
Creating a Cohesive, Data-Driven, and High-Performance Culture
Logic models can be developed at the organizational level, and then further defined for each individual program throughout an organization. Logic models serve to support a data-driven, high-performance culture, aligning all resources and activities—and capturing data along the way to illuminate the organization’s unique story of social impact.
SureImpact makes it simple for social sector organizations to collect the right data needed to demonstrate this impact. This is the software to help you measure outcomes, so that you can fully and consistently apply and track your organization’s progress against your logic model and your mission, and to inspire even more social change. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts to learn more about developing and implementing your organization’s logic model using SureImpact’s cloud-based data collection and reporting solution. Also, check out our on-demand webinar “Demystify Data to Drive Your Organization’s Impact.”