This month our focus is on outcomes of nonprofits. Simply put, outcomes answer the question, “what have we accomplished?” Clearly, the purpose of a nonprofit is to change something or make a difference, so when we measure outcomes, we need to answer the “making a difference” question in light of the work being done by the organization.
In our last post, we learned about the various terms that are used when talking about accomplishments achieved by nonprofits. These terms can be overwhelming and daunting when you try to use them to talk about your organization’s accomplishments. One of the easiest and most effective ways to express your accomplishments is through the use of a logic model.
A logic model is a visual way to express the relationship between the resources your organization has for a program or service, the activities your organization is delivering and the changes you want to see amongst those you serve, or in other words, how will the lives of those you serve be better as a result of your program or service?
Below is a visual representation of a logic model that uses the same terms that we discussed in our last post. Note under inputs, there is also a section called “Constraints on the Program.” Constraints are something that nonprofits sometimes forget to include in their logic model but are very real and must be considered. Often constraints include laws and regulations, public perception, etc.
After your organization has identified its outcomes, the next step is to break them down into short and long term outcomes and determine the overall impact the program or service will have. That will be our topic for next week.
If outcomes are overwhelming to you, feel free to contact us, we can help you get demonstrate how effective your organization is!