Why measure outcomes?

Funders and other stakeholders and supporters usually want to know that their money, time, and energy will make a difference. Measuring outcomes allows your organization to provide evidence that you are not only delivering important services but that your efforts are working effectively.

But it is equally important to use outcome measurement to help you improve. You should know where you want to go, what path to follow, and whether you are likely to get there by continuing to do what you’re doing. By identifying and measuring outcomes, you can learn what is working and what needs to be improved.

Understanding outcomes is one of the best ways to determine whether you are using your limited and valuables resources responsibly and effectively. Outcome measurement–and evaluation in general–should provide feedback about which programs are working, and where you need to try to change what you are doing to better meet your clients’ needs.