100 disadvantaged youth in Rocking Socks will receive sports scholarships by the end of twelve months.
Now what did I mean about being able to measure the outputs? Well, it can be quite simple.
Measuring Outputs and Outcomes in Grant Proposals
Will 100 scholarships be awarded?
That is something you can easily and tangibly measure. That’s either a yes or no. You can also measure how many scholarships are awarded. This is an output.
Now let’s look at the outcome, improving confidence and test scores. This might not be an immediate behavior change to be able to measure. This will take a bit more time to reflect on and need a good evaluation strategy.
Yes, the outcome can be measured but it’s not as tangible and also includes a shift in attitude and behavior. This is where real change happens, as well.
The outcome is what you are really wanting. The output is what you think will help get you there.
100 soccer scholarships might not result in this outcome change, but it’s what the grant project thinks will help improve confidence and test scores. If they don’t have these soccer scholarships, then they might not be able to play soccer.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t think your output will result in achieving your outcome, you might want to change the output.
Summary of Grant Outputs and Outcomes in a Grant Proposal
I hope you can see here that outputs and outcomes are not exact opposites. It’s not really an output versus an outcome, but it’s more a trajectory and relationship. You will see them side by side in logic models and this causal relationship is why.
The output will hopefully result in the outcome.
Now you know why there are both outputs and outcomes in a grant proposal and how they complement one another. Remember it’s not just a ‘to-may-to / to-mah-to’ differentiation. These really are two different concepts that work together.
It’s too bad they didn’t start with different letters to not confuse grant writers, but alas, that is what we got!
Links and Resources:
Episode #167: How to Write an Objective for a Grant Proposal: Click here.
Proposal for NGOs: What’s the Difference? Project Outputs vs. Outcomes. Click here.
Episode #6: Write Goals, Objectives, and Outcomes for Your Grant Proposal. Click here.
Episode #143: 5 Most Popular Grant Writing Questions. Click here.
Episode #141: Grant Writing Made Easy: 5 Hacks to Write a Grant Proposal. Click here.
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