require a name. In order to count numbers served or units of service, staff must be trained to recordthe people they serve each day and the specific activities they engage in with the client.Measuring the impact your services make on clients is a bit difficult, but it can be the most valuable andrewarding data you collect. If you decide to measure impact, it will benefit you to explore creating alogic model. A logic model illustrates therelationships between inputs, activities, outputs,outcomes and goals that create the structure andflow of your organization. Briefly,
are theresources that go into making your programactivities possible, such as technology, training,people and funding. The
you undertakeas part of your program are what you will do toaccomplish your goals.
are the product of your program, as in the number of people servedor the number of items distributed or made. Finally,
are the impact of your work on those youserve, or the change affected in their lives. Logic models are a complex topic and there are manydifferent approaches that can be taken to developing one for your program. Resources are available forassistance in creating a logic model, including the United Way of Americas book Measuring ProgramOutcomes, which is available atwww.unitedwaystore.comfor a mere $5. The W.K. Kellogg Foundationhas also created a more complex logic model guide which can be downloaded free from theirKnowledge Center atwww.wkkf.org.Finally, set quantitative goals around the items youve decided to measure. If you exclusively measuredemographics, create a goal that 80% of clients served are classified homeless by federal definition,which helps you measure the impact of organizational outreach, or marketing and advocacy work. If youmeasure numbers served or other units of service, your goal could be to provide 1,000 children withshoes in a 12-month period, or provide 800 hours of community outreach to areas with high youthcrime rates. An example of an outcome to measure impact would be that 75% of clients are able toprovide for their food and shelter needs upon exit from your program, or that 60% of individualsreceiving parenting education report a greater sense of harmony and wellbeing in their households afterthey complete a course.
STEP TWO: Determine the Tools You Will Need.
Assess yourcurrent evaluation tools, such as client intake forms or reportingalready required by current funders, refining what youre alreadydoing and preventing duplication. The tools you need and thecost of collecting data depends on what youve decided tomeasure and the complexity of your plan. If youve decided tocollect demographic data, you can use current intake forms byincluding questions which add depth. If you collect numbersserved or units of service involve your staff in deciding how to do it efficiently. Use simple ticker sheetscompiled by hand, or use electronic spreadsheets with embedded formulas to automatically tabulate