March 26, 2023

Date: 23/11/2022

Where: Online

Presenter: Jen Riley, Smarty Grants, Funding Centre and Our Community. Jen Riley has more than 20 years of experience in the social sector, having worked with government and large not-for-profits of all kinds, and for leading firm Clear Horizon Consulting. She’s a specialist in social sector change, with skills in strategic planning, program and product design, management and evaluation.


Why outcomes – Granters want to know what their investment will result in through your program. Developing outcomes statements are a key tool to be clear about  your program’s intended outcomes when applying for funding. This session will get you thinking about :

  • how to conceptualise and define an outcome, and when an outcome might be expected to occur
  • how to identify the beneficiaries of your outcomes
  • how to get from an objective to an outcomes statement
  • the role of theory of change in clarifying you activities, outputs and outcomes.

Central to this process is understanding the difference between output and outcomes, and how to support your organisation to shift to an outcomes orientation when considering program design. Simple examples are provided illustrate the difference between outputs and outcomes, working up to some trickier examples .

Key messages:

Why measure outcomes?

  • To be accountable
  • Assess what is changing and for whom
  • Learn about what is working and what can be done better
  • For funders!

What are outcomes? Outcomes are the benefits or changes for the individuals or organisations in a project/program/initiative:

  • Behaviour
  • Attitude
  • Circumstances/conditions
  • Knowledge
  • Skills

Discussion around what is an output vs what is an outcome.

  • An output is something you can count easily. In our context, this might be number of families who receive a service.
  • An outcome is a benefit for the beneficiary. For our context this is typically a child/young person/family
  • Outcomes don’t exist without outputs, and outputs don’t exist without an intended benefit

Why is a theory of change important?

  • A theory of change helps tell the story of why you’re seeking to create change, what your activities are, who or what they will affect and in what time frame (when), and how they will result in your intended outcomes

Jen also provides an overview of the SmartyGrants process, with advice on what to highlight in applications.

Watch this session here.

This is the first in the series of webinars OurCommunity are hosting. Keep up to date through their website.

Resources suggested for developing your own outcomes framework can be found here:

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