Session 1 of 2: Introduction to Theory of Change and Logic Models With Ellen Bass


September 15 (9:30am-12:30pm), Berkshire Innovation Center

(Session 2: Logic Model Clinic, September 27, 9:30-11:30am, via Zoom)


Did you know that only 28% of nonprofits have a current logic model, which experts consider to be the foundation for promising evaluation capacities?   Learn how this tool provides the foundation for a quality program design and can help an organization demonstrate how it creates social change! A logic model is a one-page conceptual word map that shows how a program influences its participants to develop and achieve outcomes in their lives. Logic models can help you think strategically about how you are allocating time and money in your organization. You will learn about logic models for program planning, program improvement, and as the first step to preparing for outcome measurement. Participants will:


  • Learn the five components of a logic model (participants, inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes)
  • Understand criteria for a quality logic model
  • Illustrate how a logic model will help you make improvements to your program design and daily program practices
  • See how a logic model can provide clarity on how your programs lead to the desired change

This logic model session will draw from Theory of Change concepts including target population definition, participant strengths and challenges, reasons for the program, and unintended negative outcomes.  A logic model can help ensure that your program staff and your development staff are marching to the same tune!


Session 1 prepares you to draft your own logic model; session 2 is a working clinic, in which participants will complete a draft logic model, which they may share with their nonprofit teams for feedback and finalize with Ellen via email.


Note: Free one-on-one coaching is available by the hour on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please email Liana@npcberkshires.org to reserve your session(s).


Meet Ellen!

Ellen Bass launched and directs the Capacity Institute, which helps nonprofits improve participant outcomes as aEllen Bass photo measure of mission attainment, by building and implementing their performance management systems over two years.  Nonprofits have improved intermediate outcome success rates by 198% and long-term outcome success rates by 291%!  For twenty years, Ellen has taught and coached staff from more than three hundred nonprofits how to use logic models and outcome measurement to strengthen participant outcomes, programs, staff, strategy, partnerships, and fundraising.


Ellen also founded and leads the Nonprofit Performance Management Consultant Network, to improve the effectiveness of human service nonprofits nationally by engaging consultants, nonprofits, and funders to invest in performance management practices.  In an effort to advance nonprofit performance management on a national scale, Ellen engages groups in dialogue and training on related topics.  Ellen is a member of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, which includes more than 130 nonprofit thought leaders and practitioners who advance nonprofit high performance as the norm. Ambassadors share the belief that mission and performance are inextricably linked. She serves on the Board of Directors of Idealware, which helps nonprofits make smart technology decisions.


Previously, Ellen was the first director of the Boston Capacity Tank at the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, where she raised and redistributed more than $10 million in grants and capacity-building services to nonprofit youth agencies in Boston.  The Tank also measured capacity-building outcomes from its workshops, consultancies, and grants.  With an MBA in public and nonprofit management, Ellen has served in resource development for twenty years and in program development for thirty-five years, in both secular and faith-based organizations that serve youth in the Boston community.


Ellen and her husband Jeff live in Boston; they have two grown sons.  She loves coaching young women leaders, helping her church grow in discipleship and racial equity, bike commuting, cooking, and hot weather.