Stop Measuring Activities and Start Measuring Outcomes
In my 20-plus years working in the nonprofit world, one of the most common mistakes I’ve seen nonprofits make is measuring activities instead of outcomes. I understand why: Measuring activities is easier, and nonprofits have limited time to dedicate to measurement. But measuring activities isn’t going to help nonprofits demonstrate their value and secure more funds.
When groups measure program efforts — teaching, training, negotiating, feeding, researching and so on — they’re measuring activities. Outcomes, on the other hand, are the results of those activities: changed awareness, behavior, condition or status.