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Program Development & Logic Model. Designing, developing, and evaluating non-profit programs. Program Development/Logic Model.

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Program development logic model

Program Development& Logic Model

Designing, developing, and evaluating non-profit programs

Program development logic model1
Program Development/Logic Model

When developing a new program, it is especially important that an organization address a few key points when applying for funds to finance the program. The following guidelines cover these crucial steps, which include:

  • Assessment of community needs

  • Program design

  • Performance measurement

  • Program evaluation

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Community needs assessment
Community Needs Assessment

Before designing a program, it is recommended that an organization conduct a community needs assessment to determine that the program is addressing a need that exists in the community. In order to get an accurate picture, this assessment should involve people representing various aspects of the community. In gathering research, the following questions may serve as a guideline:

  • Who does the problem affect? How many people are affected?

  • How is this problem addressed in other locations affected by it? What has and has not worked?

  • Is this problem already being addressed in this community? How?


Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Community needs assessment continued
Community Needs Assessment Continued

A new program should not be replicating services already provided in the community. If the needs assessment determines that the problem is already being addressed adequately by other organizations in the community, it may be best to narrow or broaden the program’s approach to address the problem in a unique manner.

Visit other organizations addressing the problem, in the community or not, to assess what approaches do and do not work, and how services can be improved upon.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Program design
Program Design

Some basic qualities of a good program are that it:

  • Describes and gives evidence of a community need that can be addressed.

  • Identifies a gap in services available in the community which address the need.

  • Explains why this program is an appropriate strategy to meet the need.

  • Outlines the activities of program members in addressing the need.

  • Establishes community partnerships in the process of addressing the community need.

  • Anticipates the positive outcome of the program in the community.

  • Defines the method of measuring results (see the following section on Performance Measurement).

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The logic model
The Logic Model

A recommended method of program design is to use a logic model to plan and evaluate the proposed program. A logic model is a depiction of the processes and targeted outcomes of the program. This should help the organization to specify goals, identify what resources are needed, identify indicators of progress and measurements of success, and communicate the program’s potential value.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The logic model components
The Logic Model – Components

The components of a basic logic model include:

  • Needs: The community need as identified in the Community Needs Assessment.

  • Inputs: The resources needed to complete activities.

  • Activities: What staff, volunteers, etc. actually do.

  • Outputs: A measurement of the actual amount of service completed.

  • Intermediate Outcomes: Measurable change and improvements in the program’s constituents and/or community.

  • End Outcomes: The target changes that the organization hopes to achieve in the program’s constituents and/or community.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Sample logic model
Sample Logic Model

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Performance measurement
Performance Measurement

The purpose of performance measures is to capture the ongoing progress the program is making. It should provide a snapshot of the impact of the work that the organization is doing. This is an especially important step in establishing accountability to any funder. Identify all of the services the organization provides and the likely impact these services will have on the community.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Performance measurement tracking tools
Performance Measurement – Tracking Tools

Determine tracking tools for use in measuring the results of services offered. These measures should focus on goal outputs and outcomes, as identified by the community needs assessment and defined by the program’s logic model. The measures should be in quantifiable terms and clearly defined.

A good guide for determining performance measures is the acronym SMART. They should be:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Program evaluation
Program Evaluation

The program evaluation should be an analytical study which measures the progress and impact the program has made. Evaluations should be scheduled and carried out throughout the course of the program. This should consist of thorough and objective research conducted by an experienced evaluator, starting at the beginning of the program year. Resources for finding a program evaluator include colleges and universities, research firms, and community organizations. The evaluator should collect data relevant to the program’s activities and programs and evaluate the organization’s impact.

The organization should be consistently involved in the evaluation process and should adjust the programs offered according to performance measures and program evaluations in order to best serve the community.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Final note
Final Note

Program development is a complicated process, about which this resource offers only a brief overview. For more information on program development and the logic model, please refer to the resources listed on the following slide.

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Additional resources
Additional Resources

  • CNCS Program Toolkit:

  • Logic Models:

  • Logic Model Development Guide:

  • Logic Model - University of Idaho:

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives