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What are Grant Outcomes and Impact Measurement?

In the world of grantmaking, what do the terms impact measurement and outcomes mean? Outcomes are the tangible outcomes you measure for your nonprofit program. Participant-centered outcomes are based on measurable outcomes in the lives of the people you serve. While impact measures provide a good foundation for understanding your grantee’s performance, they are not a replacement for high-quality research design. Let’s explore the importance of evaluating your impact measures and outcomes when implementing grant funding. To learn more, check out expounded information right here:

Participant-centered outcomes focus on measurable outcomes in the lives of those you serve

Rather than focusing solely on a single outcome, participant-centered outcomes look at multiple measurable results. In other words, they focus on impact, which refers to how your interventions have affected the lives of those you serve. In other words, these outcomes focus on what you can measure, such as what people learn from your workshops. In addition, they are measurable because they can be calculated against original outcome goals.

Impact measures provide a solid understanding of grantee performance

Using impact measures to evaluate your grantees’ performance is a great way to show the actual value of your grants and improve your organization year over year. These metrics are often overlooked in the world of grantmaking, but they are essential to understand and use to make the most informed investment decisions possible. They also provide a solid understanding of grantee performance and help you decide how much to invest and how to track your results.

Choosing suitable impact measures requires some planning, including defining how long you need to monitor each project’s progress. The number of outcomes you need to track will affect how often you measure them and how frequently. A good rule of thumb is to measure outputs quarterly or yearly. But keep in mind that it is important to balance over-measuring with under-measuring to avoid confusion and inaccuracy.

They are secondary to the quality of the research design

While researchers are keen to measure their work’s impact, they often neglect the quality of their research designs, which may distort outcomes. For instance, the use of altmetrics, the number of citations a research paper receives, or the amount of funding a researcher receives may all distort the evaluation process and reduce the positive impacts of a study.

Nevertheless, individual-level analyses are interesting and highly informative. Since most grants are awarded to individual researchers or small teams, estimating the impact of a grant is difficult. The main challenges include the limited availability of information on all applicants, including detailed demographic data. Furthermore, researchers are not compared across the funded and non-funded groups because they can receive multiple grants consecutively. In addition, the quality of research is more important than the quantity.

They help determine what worked and what didn’t

When applied correctly, impact measurement helps you determine what works and what doesn’t. In the short term, impact measurement enables you to determine whether an initiative or program has achieved its objectives. Still, it is challenging to attribute longer-term outcomes to any particular activity. For example, in 2020, a food bank that had met its goals by then experienced a slight drop in performance. It was because of a global pandemic known as COVID-19.

It can take months to see results, but impact measurement is essential to determine whether your grant made a difference. The timing of impact measurement depends on the outcomes you hope to achieve. If your goals are immediate, your impact measurement should take place a few weeks later. However, if your goal is long-term, you will need to measure your impact over many months or years. If your results are long-term, then you’ll need to do this more often.

The founder and CEO at ThriveVerge, The Verge, and Thrive Revolution. He launched Thriveverge in 2016, a leading behavior change technology, business, media, and entertainment company with the mission of ending the collective delusion that burning out is the price we have to pay for success.


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