Let's Talk Program Impact!
Program Evaluation: What are your outcomes, objectives and goals?
Every grant I have ever written as some sort of evaluation section – whether in-depth or just a line or two. Funders want to see impact; they want to see their donor or foundation dollars going to a well-designed program that is making a difference in the community.
Program impact can be challenging to evaluate, but you need to have a firm understanding of:
· Why outcomes are important for funders
· How to evaluate your program (s)
· What tools you need to evaluate your program and impact
Let’s go through the most important pieces of impact and evaluation:
Goals – What are your program goals? How do they align with your mission, vision and strategic plan?
Objectives – Similar to a goal, objectives provide a road map on how you will achieve success in a specific time frame. I often use SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive.
Outcomes – What will your results be?
Evaluation Methods – What tools will your program use to evaluate success, such as surveys, focus groups and/or qualitative feedback?
Now that we understand how to evaluate impact, let’s see some examples (fictitious):
Goal: To promote and encourage healthy eating among NYC children through Healthy Living NYC’s Breakfast Club for Children Program;
Objectives – From September to December 2019, The Breakfast Club for Children of NYC, will encourage a healthy lifestyle among 100 children at NYC Public School 100, ages 6 to 10, by serving healthy breakfasts each morning, 5 days per week, over 12 weeks;
Outcomes: 100 children at NYC Public School 100 will report: a 50% increase in eating healthier foods, 20% greater school attendance, eating 1 to 2 more fruits and vegetables, and a 30% increase in positive mental health outcomes by the end of December 2019;
Evaluation Methods - We will use pre-post surveys with parents and teachers, focus groups and qualitative feedback from students.
This is just a snapshot of evaluation, and there is so much more to it. If you have any questions, reach out to me.