A Concrete Way to Fortify Your 2017 Fundraising Efforts…

If you look around, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of tools designed to streamline your management efforts.  Not all are as highly accepted or as widely used as the logic model.

“A logic model is a systematic and visual way to present and share your understanding of the relationships among the resources you have to operate your program, the activities you plan, and the changes or results you hope to achieve.” (W.K. Kellogg Foundation 2004)

In other words, they help you plan your work and stay on track towards your goals.

How do you demonstrate you are a well-managed organization with an exciting plan for the future?

Creating trust in our operations is one of the more difficult tasks we are faced with as nonprofit managers.  It’s important to be able to demonstrate that our theories of change are not just valid, but are a better solution than what might be found elsewhere. Today, donors don’t just expect to see results, they demand it with their checkbooks.  Providing evidence of your management practice is a big part of how you answer these tough questions.

Back in November we were asked by the Colorado Nonprofit Association to present a workshop on the logic model for their annual conference. You can find our PowerPoint presentation and a sample logic model here.  

Since many of us are in planning mode for 2017, following is an overview of the three basic benefits a logic model offers with regard to your 2017 fundraising efforts.  

Planning

Like a strategic plan, budget, or the business model canvas, a logic model is a planning tool.  From this perspective, a logic model helps you identify the problem, specify the desired result, and develop a strategy to accomplish your goals.  It is a simple and visual representation of your actions that you can share with a donor in an effort to help them better understand and engage with your theory of change.

Organization & Coordination

A logic model gives you the opportunity to identify the many components of your program in a legitimate way.  It forces you to think critically about each step in your process and distinguish between your planned work and your intended results.  By dividing your actions into activities and outputs with a clear targeted outcome for each, you align your resources in an effort to describe the sequence of creating change. For your many stakeholders, a logic model helps you provide a relatively simple image of how and why your program will work.

Management

From a management perspective, your logic model creates a benchmark for measurement and data collection.  Because it defines your boundaries, it is useful in evaluation and helps program administrators identify and implement necessary improvements in their program.  When developed by a team, it brings the power of consensus to your efforts and group examination of your values with regard to change and results.

All supporters, donors, and stakeholders are most motivated when they see progress occur in real time and when results are managed well, they are encouraged to do more.

By outlining and stepping through your process, you better understand your programmatic efforts with regard to your theory of change and take a positive step towards achieving your mission.  If you have a logic model, we can help you use it to evaluate your efforts; if you don’t have a logic model, we can help you build one to better organize your efforts.  In either case, we can help you use this knowledge in an effort to better engage and motivate your supporters.