TSB 066: 5 Things Funders Won't Tell You About Logic Models

capacity building fundraising growth management metrics nonprofit the saturday boardroom Apr 13, 2024
TSB 066: 5 Things Funders Won't Tell You About Logic Models

Read Time: 2 minutes

This week's tip: Align your logic model with the funder's priorities, demonstrating how your work contributes to their goals.

Stop guessing what funders want in a logic model. 

Funders aren't looking for complex diagrams or buzzwords; they want clarity, alignment, and demonstrable impact.

Most nonprofits try to impress funders with elaborate logic models overflowing with activities and jargon. Unfortunately, this approach often backfires, leaving you short on time and even shorter on funding.

It's time to ditch the guesswork and learn what funders truly value.

Once you are clear on your Theory of Change Statement, you're ready to discover the five key things they rarely disclose and create proposals that win funding.

Here are 5 key insights that will transform how you develop logic models and write successful grant proposals:

  1. Speak Their Language: Thoroughly research each funder's mission and priorities. Incorporate their terminology into your logic model and proposal to demonstrate a deep understanding of their goals.

  2. Focus on Outcomes, Not Activities: Funders invest in results. Shift your logic model emphasis from outputs (like the number of workshops held) to the real-world impact you create (improved skills, increased community engagement, etc.).

  3. Keep It Simple: Clarity trumps complexity. A simple, well-articulated logic model is far more persuasive than an overly dense one.

  4. Tell Your Story: Data matters, but don't underestimate the power of narrative. Weave in brief anecdotes and concrete examples that illustrate the human impact of your work.

  5. Leverage AI Power: New AI tools can help you analyze funder priorities and refine your messaging. Platforms like Instrumentl, Grantable.co, or Fundwriter.ai can streamline your fundraising and development process.

The Logic Model Isn't the End Goal

Think of your logic model as a roadmap, not a final destination. Its true power lies in helping you:

  • Clearly connect your work to the funder's mission
  • Articulate your unique value proposition
  • Demonstrate your potential for lasting impact

By understanding these core funder expectations, you'll create logic models that fulfill requirements and propel your proposals to the top of the funding pile.

That's all for today. I'll see you again next Saturday!

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