An outcome is a change in individuals, groups, organizations, systems, or communities that occurs during or after program activities. An outcome answers the question “so what?” So what if you provide an organization with 10 hours of technical assistance on fundraising techniques? Is the organization better able to raise money? Do they actually raise more money now? So what if you train an organization on how to develop a strategic planning process? Can the organization effectively perform the steps involved? Do they actively engage in strategic planning now?
Quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures help to answer this “so what?” question by methodically linking an organization’s actions to client results. Proper evaluation processes and procedures help a training and technical assistance provider to answer the questions: what has changed as a result of this program? How has this program made a difference? How are the lives of our clients better as a result of the program?
Keep in mind that logic models and evaluation processes can provide insight regarding your organization’s contribution to positive results. In order to prove direct causation, however, an organization will need to take part in experimental research and a controlled study to link training and technical assistance to results.