Lesson #38 – What are Program Measurements? and Lesson #39 Why We Need Program Measurements?

Greetings from GrantLessons!

Today we are traveling to our national conference in San Diego. I hope to see many of you there.

Now we have gotten through the process of writing an application. One should be aware we have different levels of sophistication with our funders. When funders give out large sums of funding, they want and have an obligation to their organizations to ensure that the funding is being used correctly and that the work is effective. Some funders will simply ask to meet with your chapter annually to see how things are going. Others will want to have measurements of the program they are funding so that they can use that information to satisfy themselves or their board of directors that they have made a good choice by giving funding to your chapter.

Lesson #38 – What are Program Measurements?
Evaluating a chapter’s program can accomplish many things including determining what needs to change for the next year in the planning for the program, implementation of the program, and how effective the program meets the client needs. A program’s effectiveness is measured by two different types of statistics: outputs and outcomes.

Outputs
Simply outputs are the direct result of program activities. Examples include: number of children dressed, number of awards made to teachers, or number of over 60 income eligible seniors receiving food bags.
Outcomes
Simply outcomes are the benefits or changes that result from program activities. Examples include: percentage of decrease in bullying, percentage of participants who will graduate from high school, or percentage of participants who are able to age in place.

 

Lesson #39 – Why We Need Program Measurements?
There are different levels of sophistication as to whether a funder even asks for any measures that examine the effectiveness of the chapter’s program. They may ask for outputs or they want outcomes. As the writer examines the application form she will be able to determine if the funder is requesting information about the program’s measurements. Below are a few ways that funders ask the question.
• What measurable results do you intend to accomplish in the short-medium-long term?
• What information will you collect to show progress toward your results?
• Briefly describe your organization, its goals, major activities, and specific goals for your project?
• How will the organization determine it has accomplished the intended purpose of the program/project/event (other than satisfaction surveys)?
• How can you determine that the program is effective?
Many programs have developed over the years with only a few statistics being collected. Some programs have been getting funding for many years and now a new requirement is being put out to measure their work. It really is time to work with the program chairs to determine how  and when to complete program measurements.

Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! Sandie

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