We think it’s helpful for applicants to identify the key outcomes they seek to achieve as a result of the work that we fund.
The “key outcomes” of your grant are what you want to achieve as a result of the work we fund. They should directly contribute towards the larger aim of your organisation – the impact you want to have.
We have found the free advice and tools produced by the Charities Evaluation Service helpful in developing our approach to outcomes and reporting. It recommends using a planning triangle, thinking about your work in terms of:
You can express each outcome in the way that makes most sense to your organisation, but we don’t want a list of activities. We want to know what you’re trying to achieve with these activities – what will be the result?
The majority of our grants are for core costs, so one of your outcomes might be about the development of your organisation.
For each outcome we will ask you for the indicators you will use to monitor your progress. An indicator should be realistic - something you are able to track and gather evidence on.
Charities Evaluation Service defines outcome indicators as “well defined pieces of information that can be assessed or measured to show whether outcomes have been achieved. These show that the outcome has actually happened, or that progress is being made towards it. Outcome indicators can be quantitative or qualitative.
There may be many possible indicators for each outcome. As with outcomes themselves, we just need you to identify and report on the key ones – the most relevant to what you’re trying to achieve.
If you have a target number you’re aiming for (eg 50% of participating young people remain in education), do include it, but not if you can’t yet put a number on exactly what success would look like. We don’t want you to bind yourself to something that later becomes impossible to deliver.
We think data and evidence is important. We try to fund organisations who use it to inform their practice, and we’re developing our own use of data to be a more effective funder. However, we won’t ask anyone we fund to collect data just for us, that isn’t useful to them.
In the context of our funding strategy, we will use your progress reports to test our own effectiveness as a funder. We will share any learning which comes from this with those we fund and the wider sector through our Insight Reports.
We will discuss the wording of your outcomes and indicators during the assessment process, to ensure that we can both identify lessons from the work. It will be a negotiation, but you should tell us what you think.
We understand that expectations and goals change over time and that some work may be exploratory, so outcomes and indicators might need to be revised over the course of any grant. We’re keen to listen to you and learn from this, and particularly interested to hear about unexpected or unplanned outcomes, positive or negative.
03 October 2017
Tel: 020 7812 3700
Charity No. 200051