It has never been so crucial for charities to explain to its funders the effect of the work that they deliver to their beneficiaries. The different terminology has often caused some confusion, and so in this blog we explore this terminology.
From my time working at senior management level, I had to develop new projects and ensure existing projects hit the spot regarding delivery. Excellent project management and planning, as well as the ability to articulate the plan to funders and other stakeholders. One tool I used, and still advocate, is the CES planning triangle:
Overall aim – This sits at the top of the triangle and is what the project aims to achieve.
Intended outcomes – Outcomes sit nicely below this and are used not just in the charity sector but more and more in the statutory sector too. There is an increase in outcomes-based contracts and the use of social return on investment (or SROI). Outcomes tend to be smart, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time focused.
Activities or Outputs – we must be able to quantify the numbers of sessions planned, delivered and ultimately numbers of beneficiaries reached. Researching the best outcome measurement tool to capture and communicate this, was then a lot easier, knowing I had a framework to pin all the elements together.
The importance of Transformational Storytelling
I bet you know somebody who is good at telling stories and anecdotes? I suspect you have used stories today in some form. As humans, we love storytelling and we use it to communicate every day. Children grow up listening to stories; we use it to explain the world around them. Fundraising is often about telling someone’s story; it is about creating an emotional but factual reaction which will give the donor motivation to provide. An great introduction to the use of transformational storytelling can be found in the book “Storytelling can change the World” by Ken Burnett.