Why we Ask: Outcomes & Objectives

Jessica Cherok \
June 26, 2018

Last June, we announced our new strategies, mission, and values. So in the spirit of embracing transparency and communication – one of our core values – GAR is launching a blog series explaining #WhyWeAsk particular questions in our grant applications.

First up: outcomes and objectives.

Nonprofits and foundations use many different words to talk about their mission and what they want to accomplish. Goals, outcomes, strategies, outputs, tactics, objectives – all are used seemingly interchangeably, and their definitions may vary from funder to funder.

Here’s what GAR means when we ask for outcomes and objectives in our application.

Outcomes are a description of your desired end state at the conclusion of the grant period.

Consider these questions as you’re developing your outcomes: What do you want to accomplish? Where will you be at the end of your grant period? How will you know that you’ve been successful? What changes will have occurred at your organization or for those you serve?

Examples of Outcomes
1. 60% of clients will leave the shelter and access permanent housing
2. In the 2018-19 school year, school absenteeism rates will be reduced by 25% for participants in our program
3. 1,000 new households will have engaged with our organization (where “engaging” means they have accessed at least two of our marketing pieces)

Objectives are the critical steps that you will take to achieve your outcomes.

Examples of Objectives
1. Provide shelter to 700 women in 2018
2. In the 2018-19 school year, provide tutoring services to 100 APS high school students
3. Increase traditional and digital marketing by 30% in 2018

Be thoughtful and realistic about your goals and plans. Remember this tip: Outcomes and Objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Why We Ask:

GAR’s program officers will ask about your outcomes and objectives at site visits. Therefore, the information you provide on your application helps us understand what success looks like for your program or organization.  The Foundation also uses this information to evaluate the short- and long-term impact of your grant, to celebrate your success, and to have an open dialogue about the challenges that may be preventing you from achieving what you plan to accomplish.

Next: #WhyweAsk about diversity and inclusion.