Developing a Logic Model for Success

Successful fatherhood programs are clear about their intended outcomes and develop a plan to meet participant needs and measure outcomes. Most public funders and many private funders now require a logic model. A logic model is a graphic image of a program’s inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes (short- and long-term).

Outputs are how a program will achieve their outcomes, such as by offering X number of workshops on father skills and reaching X number of fathers. Outcomes measure changes in attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and behavior. A logic model should propose outcomes that are logically consistent with what the program wants to achieve.

If a program is reaching short-term goals (e.g., changing parents’ attitudes and behavior), funders will have more confidence that longer term goals (e.g., improve child outcomes) will be reached.

Successful programs integrate carefully designed logic models into daily operations and ensure that all staff are aware of short- and long-term program outcomes. Staff should understand how to deliver activities to meet these goals and how to track program processes to stress the importance of good documentation. By measuring how your program is working, your program can ensure it is meeting program goals, desired outcomes, and improving the lives of the fathers you serve. 

Tips & Best Practices

  • Logic models can help fatherhood programs better manage their program's performance by developing detailed action plans used to assess milestones and to reassess next steps if problems arise. This resource explains the role Logic Models can have in performance management. 
  • Looking for different ways to create a logic model? Download the 6 Ways to Create a Useful Logic Model for strategies on creating a logic model that presents a visual display of the connections among program resources, current and planned activities, and changes or results the program hopes to achieve.
  • This guide was developed to provide practical assistance to nonprofits engaged in the logic model development process. It introduces logic modeling’s underlying principles. The guide contains four chapters and two comprehensive appendices.
Spotlight On
Tools for Fatherhood Programs: Build Your Own Logic Model

Child Welfare Information Gateway provides two Logic Model Builders: Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Family Support Programs and Postadoption Services Programs. These Logic Model Builders help programs define their service goals and outcomes, identify indicators of success, and select evaluation instruments that may be appropriate to measure success. The Logic Model Builder will help you develop your own logic model and get a head start in planning an evaluation of your program.


What is a logic model?

  • Logic Models outline what you do, why you do it, and how you can measure your results. 

How do I develop a logic model?

The Evaluation Toolkit and Logic Model Builder, provided by  the Administration for Children and Families helps you identify outcomes, indicators of success, and evaluation instruments that may be appropriate to measure your program’s success.

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