When we started grant writing for other organizations, we quickly found the biggest issue almost all our organizational clients hadn’t thought through is their program they were requesting funds for.
They know they want to start a food pantry, but they haven’t thought through the timeline or the budget.
They know they want to start a transportation service, but they aren’t sure how many days they want it to run (directly impacts revenue and expenses – which they hadn’t thought about volunteer drivers increasing their insurance costs).
Our number one tool for program development is the logic model.
It starts you off with talking about the problem – what are your trying to address?
Inputs are all the things your program is going to need. Staff, vehicles, supplies, food, equipment, desk, computer, internet, phones, phone plan, etc. Think through a week of the program and think about what you will need or use to do that program and write every single thing down. This will help you with your budget later.
Outputs at it’s simplest can be described as your program description but with specific details. How many days your program will run a week or a month, the number of people in a class, and other specifics.
Outcomes are the goals and objectives of your program. what change or impact do you want this program to have short term and long term?
Evaluation is how you plan to measure your outcomes. You’ll think about frequency, how it’s collected, where that information is stored (if you need a new data and reporting software, add that to your inputs!).
Assumptions makes you think through what you are assuming about your participants. You may assume they have transportation to come to your cooking class, you may assume they have a stove at home to replicate your cooking class, you may assume no one has dietary restrictions for this class. This will either help you address those assumptions (perhaps ask about diet during registration and adjust your recipes).
Finally there are external factors. These are things outside your control – covid-19 waves, public bus route and schedule, a competing program at another organization.