Insights

Inspire Audiences by Translating Outputs into Outcomes

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You’re in the nonprofit world because you’re driven by your heart, but the mission itself relies on the strength of your numbers. You need funding, supporters, and ways to prove that you’re meaningfully impacting the community. Nonprofits have to communicate data in a clear and digestible way, yes, but also in a way that inspires action.

You can’t get all that by simply reporting your output — you also need to share your outcomes.

Let’s talk about the difference.

The most basic means of tracking your organization’s impact is in terms of outputs, such as the number of people served, the number of programs and services offered, and the number of meals distributed. This sounds like: “We helped 112 unemployed community members find jobs.”

On the other hand, outcomes show measurable changes in the community through the organization’s services. An example of an outcome might be, “By helping unemployed people find work, we have helped reduce the poverty rate in our community by 15%.”

Outputs provide a snapshot, but outcomes illustrate the tangible difference those actions make on individual lives in your community.

Translate your data — your output — into outcomes, and you demonstrate the true value of your work. 

Todd Hiestand

Todd has over 20 years of experience as a leader in the nonprofit sector. He has served in a wide variety of roles, guiding digital marketing, technology, fundraising, eCommerce, and communications strategies. His expertise in developing systems and processes has helped launch organizations and sustain growth over time.