Monday, April 9, 2012

Objectives and Outputs and Outcomes...Oh My!

I have submitted three grants over the past two weeks. All three of them had me doing my Wizard of Oz dance when it came to the section for goals and objectives.  What is that?

Objectives and outputs and outcomes....oh my!

If that's not familiar to you, watch this and you'll understand.

Just like "lions and tigers and bears," objectives and outputs and outcomes can be scary, especially when you aren't clear on the difference is between them. Here's some help:

Objectives are your performance targets.  You can have implementation objectives that measure your level implementation (number of clients served, processes put in place, etc.) and outcome objectives that measure the results of your project (improved achievement, healthier clients, etc.).

Outputs and outcomes are very similar to the two different types of objectives. Outputs are similar to implementation objectives and outcomes are similar to outcome objectives. Outputs measure what you'll be doing (services provided, processes developed, and deliverables).  Outcomes measure the results of what you do.

And all of these are different than goals, which are broad statements of purpose and intention. Objectives, outputs, and outcomes are very specific, but goals are broad.

In other posts this week, we'll talk more about writing objectives and I'll share some examples of good and not-so-good objectives.


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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.