As outcome-reporting requirements from governments, United Ways, foundations, and other funding sources increase in number and complexity, nonprofit providers may be overburdened collecting the information they need for accountability to their funders and what they need to help improve services. Agreement between funders and service providers on a common core set of outcome indicators for reporting can greatly help balance these needs for information. Based on an effort in Montgomery County, Maryland, supported by government, the local United Way, and other funders, this guide describes how community funders and service providers can work together to develop these common indicators.
To measure lasting effects of nonprofit programs, clients must be tracked after they leave services. Information on status at some later point--perhaps 3, 6, 9, or 12 months--is needed to measure outcomes, assess program results, and identify needed improvements.