Making Use of Outcome Information for Improving Services

Research Report

Making Use of Outcome Information for Improving Services

Recommendations for Nonprofit Organizations


This report describes, and provides examples of, how nonprofit health and human services organizations use outcome information internally. It is based on an examination of the practices of eight health and human services nonprofits in the Washington, DC–Baltimore, MD, metropolitan area. It also discusses factors that appear to contribute to, or hinder, use of outcome information by nonprofit organizations. The organizations examined most commonly used primarily qualitative outcome information to adjust services for individual clients. We also found many cases of use of quantitative outcome data to identify successes, problems, and patterns in outcomes across clients, and to identify the potential need for program modifications. This represents a newer approach to the use of outcome information by nonprofits. However, a number of organizations that collected outcome data did not actually tabulate it, leaving it to supervisors and caseworkers to mentally process the data to identify patterns and trends.

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