Note: This is an ongoing initiative, and all tools and resources posted here are currently in draft form and are subject to revision.

Theory of Change

A Theory of Change (PDF, 134 KB) establishes actions, outputs, and longer term outcomes that are anticipated from capacity-building and research projects. It is created collaboratively with a project team, partners and/or community members. This particular example is for the work being conducted with the cohort of 24 competitive grantees within the Community Catalyst Initiative (CCI).

Initiative Work Products

A suite of products have been co-created with CCI grantees during this initiative’s capacity building activities. IMLS welcomes feedback on their applicability and usability broadly within the museum and library sectors.

  • Becoming A Community Catalyst: How To Begin

Asset Mapping

  • Asset Mapping User Guide
  • Ohio History Connection
  • Echo Lake Nature Center
  • Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Logic Models

The program logic model offers a structure that represents how your organization does its work. A program logic model links outcomes (both short- and long-term) with program activities/processes and the theoretical assumptions/principles of the program.

Power Ladders

These tools and resources, the Resident Power Ladder and the Organizational Partnership Ladder, can create clarity for you and for others working on your project around the current role of residents and partners in your project(s). They can also, reveal strategic opportunities for strengthening their role in ways that make sense for your project, organization and community capacities & context. And they can surface insights and data around how this role has shifted from the beginning of your project

Journey Maps

Journey maps are depictions of a group or individual’s unique path that reveal commonalities between those pathways that may seem very different at first glance. These tools can illuminate larger patterns, lessons and themes from diverse stories and geographies. As a tool, the IMLS grantees expressed that the journey mapping process provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on their work and gain clarity for moving forward into the next project phase. Several of their journeys and a tool that can be used to create a journey map on your own can be found below.

Initiative Slide decks

These provide is an overview of the tools, resources, approaches, and methodologies that shape and guide the CCI.


Coming soon.

Recorded Webinars

Coming soon.