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Applications to competitive grant programs commonly require a logic model. Development and use of logic models are common practices in planning projects before seeking a grant. They are also common practices in implementing and evaluating projects after winning a grant.


This post looks at typical elements of logic models. It is one in a series about logic models and competitive grant seeking. Its context is the United States of America. Other posts discuss the uses of logic models throughout proposal planning and project implementation, types of logic models, definitions of logic models, samples of logic models, and other topics.



In a compact form, a logic model represents key elements in a proposed Program Design (also called a Work Plan or Plan of Action), which is commonly submitted as part of a competitive grant proposal. Depending upon the specific funding opportunity, a logic model may identify most of these elements, if not all of them:

  1. A program design component
  2. A goal
  3. An objective (usually two or more per goal)
  4. A set of activities and/or strategies (usually two or more per objective)
  5. A timeline (with or without milestones)
  6. A plan for evaluation
  7. An assignment of persons responsible
  8. A budget allocation (representing one or more budget line items)


Developing a Logic Model

In creating a logic model for a grant proposal, several elements are typically necessary:


Component: Captures the programmatic focus of one or more goal.

Example: Leadership Development


Goal: States the broad intention of one or more objectives.

Example: To increase school principals’ skills in leading community engagement.


Objective: States the specific focus of effort defined in terms of measurable results.

Example: To increase 80% or more of 80 participating principals’ leadership skills through 10 hours of training in how to implement best practices in community engagement during the 2018-19 school year.


Activities: Indicates what the applicant’s staff (and/or its partners) will do to accomplish an objective.

Examples: (1) Organize and conduct a two-day (12-hour) Leadership Retreat. (2) Hold two three-hour follow-up sessions during the project period.


Timeline: Specifies when staff will complete the activities for an objective.

Example: Retreat: 08/2018. Follow-up: 12/2018 and 04/2019.


Evaluation: Determines whether, and to what degree, an objective is met.

Examples: Attendance, pre-post surveys, principals’ records, and community feedback surveys.


Staff Responsible: Identifies who will do the activities, by position title.

Example: Consultants, Professional Development Director, and Internal Evaluator.


Budget: Allocates funding to support accomplishing an objective.

Example: Specific amounts allocated to various appropriate cost categories and line items.





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