The Heckscher Foundation for Children requires all grant applicants to complete a logic model to help both your organization and our foundation understand exactly what you would do with Heckscher funds, if awarded them. Our logic model is intended to guide applicants to set short- and long-term goals that the participants in the program you are asking us to support will accomplish with our grant.
Our logic model is located on page four of the online application form and is required as an essential part of any submission. We believe that you will find logic modeling an excellent way to establish clear plans for a possible Heckscher grant, manage your program as it unfolds, and pave the way for a fail evaluation of your work.
The First Section: Activities or Strategies
These are all the things that YOU—your agency or organization—will do during the life of the grant to realize the outcomes you expect. Each of your entries should state WHAT will be provided to WHOM and WHEN. For example:
- During the 2018-19 school year, we will provide an in-school ballet program for 100 first-grade students at PS 100, once a week, for one hour each session.
- We will run four six-week GED-prep sessions, each for 25 young men who are currently out-of-school and between the ages of 17-19. Each will also include “Next Steps” counseling.
- We will provide a summer job readiness boot camp, consisting of two weeks of employment-readiness activities, four weeks of paid internships with corporate partners, and two weeks of supervised, individualized job search coaching.
If you are applying for a general operating grant, this first section of your logic model should specify the major activities of your organization. For example:
The Apple Agency will continue to provide:
- A tutoring program for 100 children per year
- A referral network for families of these children
- Early intervention services for at least 100 siblings younger than 10 years of age
- Case management for 100 at-risk families served
The Second (Middle) Section: Shorter-Term Outcomes
These are the concrete, measurable goals that participants in your program will accomplish in the “short-run” as a result of the proposed program — DURING the life of your grant from the foundation.
As some more complex or multi-stage interventions may not have outcome results completed or fully measured or known by the end of the grant period, you should indicate results achieved to date, whether youth performance is “on-track,” discuss expected youth achievement outcomes by a specific date, and whether you are awaiting data from other partners to inform your program’s reportable outcomes.
General, passive statements such as “students will have an opportunity to…” or “youth will develop to their fullest potential…” will result in the rejection of your application. Remember that YOU provide activities, not outcomes, which belong in the first section only. Some examples of shorter-term outcomes:
- Students will experience reading gains of three semesters through the summer intervention.
- At least 85% of students will pass a recognized proficiency exam after the conclusion of each program cycle.
- At least 75% of students will be admitted to highly selective colleges.
- Program participants will achieve 75% job placement over the life of the grant and at least 68% job retention or advancement over one-year post-placement.
The Third (Last) Section: Longer-Term Outcomes
Another name for a logic model is a theory of change, and this may help you to think about how to create a successful document. How, specifically, does your agency believe it will bring about concrete, measurable change among clients? Exactly what changes are expected?
- All first-grade students at PS 100 will be able to demonstrate that they have met the relevant New York State math standards through gains in state test results.
- At least 80% of participants will achieve college persistence from Year 1 to Year 2.
- At least 50% of participants will have obtained either full- or part-time employment within three months of graduation from the program.
- Job retention of trained youth participants will meet or exceed 70% after Year 1.
- At least 70% of youth in the program will achieve advancement in the form of wage or benefits increase, title change, or scope of responsibility within eight months after placement.
These longer-term outcomes will ideally occur inside the time limit of your grant from the foundation, but it is fine if some fall outside the grant period. As discussed in the shorter-term outcomes section, some more complex or multi-stage interventions may not have outcome results completed or fully measured or known by the end of the grant period. In these cases, you may indicate results achieved to date and whether or not youth performance is “on-track,” discuss expected youth achievement outcomes by a specific date, and state whether or not you are awaiting data from other partners to inform your program’s reportable outcomes.
There is no universal timeframe that defines “shorter-term” and/or “longer-term.” The timeframe will be different for each applicant and program. But the outcomes you expect first should go into the middle section of your model, and those you expect later should go into the last section.
Tips for Building a Good Logic Model
Another name for a logic model is a theory of change, and this may help you think about creating a successful document. How, specifically, does your agency believe it will bring about concrete, measurable change among clients? Exactly what changes are expected?
1. Choose Your Longer-Term Outcomes First
Begin planning and writing your logic model from the bottom up, first specifying your longer-term objectives, then backing up to the shorter-term outcomes necessary to produce these longer-term goals, and, finally, listing your strategies for getting there.
In other words, pick your destination first and then map out your route to that destination.
2. Make Sure Everything You Write Is CONCRETE, SPECIFIC, and MEASURABLE
- NOT: To help young people maximize life opportunities.
- BUT: At least 90% of ninth graders will graduate from high school within four years.
3. Use Strong Verbs
- NOT: To enhance, to promote, to encourage.
- BUT: To increase, to meet, to exceed by 90%.
4. State Activities and Outcomes ONE AT A TIME
- NOT: We will hold sessions and hand out materials to promote understanding.
- BUT: We will hold six counseling sessions over six weeks (First Section).
5. Do Not Try to Make the Model Symmetrical
There is no expectation that you will list a specific number of outcomes. You might need six activities to produce three shorter-term outcomes and one longer-term outcome. Or you might have one activity from which you expect several shorter-term outcomes and several longer-term outcomes.
6. Check the Model to Make Sure It Is Logical
- Do you have the right targets in your plan? If you want funding for a prevention program, it must state how you will reach those at risk of what you are trying to prevent. If your program is an afterschool academic project targeting low literacy children, it must serve students from, for example, a low-performing school, or students who scored low on citywide tests.
- Do you have enough coverage to make the plan work? If you want to make a school-wide impact, for example, you must reach enough young people to bring about change on the school level.
- Does the intervention or program have sufficient intensity to bring about the outcomes you have listed? For example, you can’t improve self-esteem with a short exercise or instill a lifelong appreciation of the arts with a single trip to a Broadway show.
- Will the intervention or program you have chosen be effective at driving the outcomes you have selected? If people do not have insurance or funds to pay for medical care, referral to a physician may not get them the treatment they need. You need to carefully think through your logic model to make sure you are working on the factors that truly underlie the issues you want to address.
Can your activities really be expected to lead to the outcomes you describe?