Independent Learning

Logic Model

The logic model defines a plan that is consistent, chronological, linear and important. It answers the following questions:

  1. Inputs: What resources do you need in order to do your work?
  2. Activities: What are the key activities that will drive your impact?
  3. Outputs: What would you measure to evaluate your impact?
  4. Outcomes: How do you hope conditions will change over time as a result of the work?
  5. Impact: What key change is this work driving towards?

What is this tool exactly?

The logic model, theory of change, or intended impact model is used by social impact leaders internally to increase the effectiveness of their work, and externally to increase their accountability to stakeholders outside the organization. The logic model makes a set of claims about how the project will do its work that are consistent, chronological, linear, and important. The logic model does that by describing, on one page moving from left to right, a venture or project’s inputs, key activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact. This tool is a great basis for an annual report, funding proposal, or idea pitch.

Who should be involved?

The logic model, theory of change, or intended impact model is used by social impact leaders internally to increase the effectiveness of their work, and externally to increase their accountability to stakeholders outside the organization. The logic model makes a set of claims about how the project will do its work that are consistent, chronological, linear, and important. The logic model does that by describing, on one page moving from left to right, a venture or project’s inputs, key activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact. This tool is a great basis for an annual report, funding proposal, or idea pitch.

How long should it take?

If you are using this tool on your own, it may take you 20 minutes. If you are using it to assess or develop a strategic plan, it could take a few hours to a few weeks.

Where can I learn more?
  1. In “The Power of Theories of Change,” Paul Brest shares a developmental approach to creating and evaluating theories of change. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Spring 2010.
  2. In “Six Theory of Change Pitfalls to Avoid,” Matthew Forti offers great ideas to get started, and to maximize the usefulness of this tool. Stanford Social Innovation Review. 2012.