Outcomes: Reporting metrics of success

  • April 25, 2024

Federal funding opportunities can be a great way to support projects that have the potential to make a meaningful impact on society. Suppose you are fortunate enough to receive funding for your project. In that case, it is important to understand what it means to have outcomes in a certain number of months or years. Working with an external independent evaluator from the beginning of the performance period is vital to success.

Outcome tracking

Outcomes refer to the specific results or achievements your project is expected to produce. Depending on the nature of your project, outcomes could range from new scientific discoveries to improved community infrastructure to better health outcomes for a specific population. When you are awarded federal funding, you will likely be asked to set specific goals for your project. This will include timelines for when you expect to achieve certain outcomes.

For example, if you are working on a medical research project, you may set a goal to publish a peer-reviewed paper within 12 months of receiving funding. Or, if you are working on a community development project, you may set a goal to complete the construction of a new community center within 24 months. Tracking outcomes is critical for demonstrating the impact of your project and ensuring that you are progressing toward your goals.

How an evaluator can help

Between overseeing project progress, attending stakeholder meetings, and overseeing the dispersal of grant dollars, it can be difficult for one awardee or a small group of awardees to properly collect, track, and analyze data. Fortunately, these activities can be outsourced for awardees who plan ahead and write their evaluator directly into the grant proposal.

Your evaluator can help you identify what data is important, what format to collect it in, and how often to collect it. The evaluator can track and analyze data your team collects to measure the outcomes of your activities and progress toward achieving your goals. Your evaluator can also help you draft any reports required by the funding agency. At a minimum, this usually includes interim and final reporting for each project period.

Communication with the funder

It is important to work closely with your funding agency to establish clear metrics for measuring outcomes and provide regular progress updates. Having outcomes in a certain number of months or years means you have a clear vision for what you hope to achieve with your project. It also shows you are committed to achieving those goals. Metrics demonstrate that you accept responsibility for being transparent and accountable for your progress, both to your funders and the broader public.

We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.