Setting SMART measurable outcomes

Mark PetersenCapacity Building

One of the most common pitfalls applicants encounter in designing successful applications is in the development of their measurable outcomes.  Frequently, we find charities propose projects which lack tangible outcomes and are filled with fuzzy thinking.

For example, here are some outcomes that were recently submitted (with revisions to protect identity):

1) Youth Centre for students established with all needed equipment
2) Leaders trained to operate the Youth Centre
3) Growth in our Youth program

Now let’s rewrite these to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound):

1) A 20,000 square foot Youth Centre will be painted using volunteer labour by the end of this project.
2) 12 volunteer leaders will be identified and trained for one hour per week over twelve months using customized curriculum.
3) 50% growth in number of students (from 100 to 150) who attend weekly programming by the end of the project.

Your measurable outcomes are targets for your project using the funds we provide.  They will form the basis on which you report back to us on achieving the goals of your project.

Watch this short video for more tips on SMART outcomes.