Collaborative Conversations with Program Directors for Grant Writing Success

Collaborative Conversations with Program Directors for Grant Writing Success

You’re buzzing along through a grant application. You’ve written a fantastic description of your organization’s quality program. You’re feeling terrific about your proposal.

Then, there it is. The Outcomes Measures section.

You can hear your brain’s breaks screech and your fingers stop flying across the keyboard. You’re going to have to give that question some thought.

You get up from your desk and go talk with your Program Director. “What are our Outcomes Measures?” you ask.

“We measure the number of youth who graduate from our program,” The Program Director cheerfully says. She’s excited that you’re writing a grant.

Oh no. That’s a problem. ‘Number of kids graduating from your program’ is an output, not an outcome. What do you do?

Instead of launching into a long, dry explanation of the difference between outcomes and outputs that will make your Program Director’s eyes glaze-over and turn tale and run every time you’re working on a grant application in the future, here are four questions you can ask to get to the information you need:

Reporting Impact

Reporting Impact

Part of our responsibility to our donors after receiving a gift is to report back to them about what the donations they’ve entrusted to us have accomplished. We know they want to hear from us about the impact of their donations.

If we’re good at donor stewardship, we do this in multiple ways and in an ongoing fashion.  

  • We call our donors and say things like, “Hi! The tractors arrived on site today and started clearing for the new building and I was just thinking about you and how you’ve made this possible.
  • We invite them to our campuses and show them work in progress or programs in action.
  • We meet them for coffee and bring them pictures of something that happened last week that they wanted to see. 

Informally, the updates are regular.

But every once in a while, we do formal updates through Annual or Impact Reports as well.  As many of us plan this time of year to write and design our Annual or Impact Report, what should it convey?

Nonprofit Boards and the Dysfunctions of Team

Nonprofit Boards and the Dysfunctions of Team

Nonprofit Board members are unprepared to govern.  That’s the finding of the 2015 Survey on Board of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations, a study released in April jointly conducted by GuidestarBoardSource, and the Stanford Business School.

What remedies would we pursue if we were to view the breakdowns in our systems of nonprofit governance as failures of the early stages of team building rather than as the [later] results of process and outcomes failures?