- Coordinating social services
- Public agencies
- Case Management
- Human services
As a nonprofit organization or public agency, you want to focus on delivering the best services possible, but you also know that reporting on the work you do is key to creating even more impact in your community. Reporting program outcomes allows you to understand the effectiveness of your programs, improve programming, and ultimately demonstrate impact to funders to secure your funding.
In this blog post, we’ll give you five best practices that you can use to make reporting program outcomes easier, more accurate, and more impactful for your organization.
The first step to optimizing your reporting processes is to come up with a clear strategy. Once you finalize your goals, timeline, and key players, you’ll be more equipped to make effective changes and get results.
When crafting your strategy for reporting program outcomes, consider the following elements:
Once you’ve outlined your strategy for reporting program outcomes, schedule a meeting to get your entire team on the same page. Emphasize the reasons you want to optimize your reporting practices, and be prepared to answer any questions about your plans.
A crucial part of your new reporting strategy is the data you decide to collect. Rather than tracking every single metric available to your organization, it’s important to be strategic and determine what is the right data for you to track. This can vary from organization to organization depending on factors like program areas and compliance requirements.
How do you know which data to prioritize? Focus on how you want to use your data.
If your main priority is demonstrating impact to funders, for example, you should collect data that demonstrates that your programs are successful.
To ensure your data and reporting practices stay consistent, secure, and equitable, you need to provide a clear set of guidelines and requirements for your team members. Create a document that includes the following information:
Then, make this document easily accessible to all team members who will be involved in data collection or reporting. If possible, host these guidelines in your database itself for ease of use.
In the months after your initial implementation of new reporting practices, don’t be afraid to consistently review what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement. Your internal processes should be able to grow with your organization’s changing needs and priorities.
The most impactful thing you can do to improve your process for reporting program outcomes is to invest in quality case management software. Software with built-in, automated reporting features will help you streamline your processes, increase staff capacity, and craft a stronger impact story for funders.
Establishing a strategy for collecting the right data and reporting program outcomes is key to improving your programs and securing more funding. Interested in learning more about demonstrating impact and common mistakes to avoid? Download our guide Reporting best practices: from outdated to modern reporting today!