Want to Reach Peak Performance in Fundraising?

Driving Nonprofit Success

Ever set out to a new destination and forget your trusty GPS as a guide? The feeling of uncertainty and wandering can be unnerving, even to the most experienced travelers. As our team works with you to craft your case for support or grant applications, we often see that same uncertainty when it comes to knowing what goes into crafting goals, objectives, and anticipated outcomes. This article clarifies the intent of this section and strengthens our efforts at co-creating content.

When your compelling need is combined with cohesive goals, objectives and anticipated outcomes, it offers a sound logic towards the solution. It is one of the most important sections to consider in a proposal because it solidifies alignment with the expectations and aspirations of your potential donors and stakeholders.

Goals: The Final Destination

Goals are the ideal dream state to be achieved. It is the unmet need fully resolved or maximum benefits achieved. Goals are lofty, idealistic and not measurable.  Goals remind us why we do what we do. Here are a few examples:

  • Human Services: If your services address concerns of youth who are living unhoused, the goal is to have safe and suitable housing for all youth.
  • Education: If the unmet need is to provide early childhood education for children from low income households, the goal is children of all socioeconomic backgrounds have access to education and a pathway to success.
  • Arts: If key benefits of your arts installation are to foster critical thinking on climate change, the goal is inspired dialogue and community engagement in environmental concerns.

Goals are the guiding stars that set a trajectory for the program’s services and provide a dotted line connecting the program’s goal to the nonprofit mission.  Conversely, if the proposal is for general operating support, then the goal is simply the organization’s mission statement.

Objectives: Putting In the Miles

Next, to bridge the gap between the aspirational goals and the work of your program, here come the. Objectives are basically what you will do with the money. Keeping with the same examples above;

  • Human Services: To end homelessness for youth, objectives are to provide 200 hours of street outreach, 2,600 nights of emergency shelter, and 2,080 hours of care coordination during the operating year
  • Education: To support the life long potential of children, objectives are to provide 150 hours of preschool programming over 16 weeks to 50 children
  • Arts: To inspire dialogue and engagement with climate issues, objectives are to complete and launch 6-month art installation, and host the attendance of 500 community leaders

Objectives are the actionable items you intend to accomplish with the resources you have budgeted. They are time bound, which means they need to include a time frame for when they will be completed. For evergreen programs, the fiscal year is the most natural timeframe and it keeps financial and programmatic reporting consistent.

Outcomes: The Markers of Advancement

You are asking supporters to provide the fuel you need to advance your solution down the road. In return, donors want to know the incremental markers you’ll achieve as your team sets out on the journey.  The anticipated outcomes are the differences or changes you hope to occur once you get your work done. Outcomes are measurable and time bound and validate you are on the path towards the final destination. The outcomes for completing services might include:

  • Human Services: 90% of youth served during the operating year demonstrate improved stability, as evidenced by a 25% increase in the following key areas: regular access to shelter, consistent healthcare, and enrollment in educational or vocational programs
  • Education: 90% of children will demonstrate age-appropriate cognitive and language skills during the operating year.
  • Art: 50% of visitors attending the installation will express the intention to adopt at least one sustainable practice in their daily livesWhile donors are constantly asking for your outcomes, being able to convey the sound logic to the design of your program, along with the incremental impacts is key to a competitive solicitation.

    Donors provide the fuel your team needs to get where it’s going. Whether addressing youth homelessness, providing early childhood education, or fostering critical thinking through art installations on climate change, the goals, objectives, and outcomes provide a roadmap to steer your services toward impactful change and create a cohesive, resonating message to inspire giving.

Need a Hand with Impact Reporting?

Closely connected to the goals, objectives and anticipated outcomes is performance evaluation. Clear impact statements convey the intentions of your solution, and sharing the results creates powerful trust building connections.

Fordable Fundraising is pleased to offer Impact Consulting to help you with your program’s performance evaluation. In collaboration with Gavin Clark from Task Force Analytics, we present a golden opportunity to enhance your performance evaluation.