Outputs and Outcomes Guide to Grant Applications

This is one of the most important sections to complete in Atlas Network's grant applications. This summarizes what you are going to do and what you hope to achieve. Below we provide some working definitions that we hope help you formulate your outputs and outcomes along with some examples of each.

Outputs – these are the strategic activities or products that you are planning that you think are critically important to achieve success.

Outcomes – these are the results of your outputs, the indicators that show evidence that you achieved success.

One way to think about outputs vs. outcomes is outputs are controlled by you and outcomes tend to represent a desired response from others that your outputs are intended to inspire. Good outputs and outcomes are specific and measurable.

Examples of outputs:

  1. Research paper on the economic benefits of simplifying business permit requirements and a proposed policy reform brief

  2. Two-minute online video and targeted social media campaign communicating the potential impact of the research findings on real people

  3. Stakeholder education event showcasing small business entrepreneurs who can tell their stories to policy makers

Examples of outcomes:

  1. Adoption of policy reforms that result in a reduction in the typical number of days to obtain a business permit from 12 to five and reducing the number of government offices needing to approve from seven to one.

  2. At least 12 media mentions for research findings including TV and print media.

  3. At least 5,000 views for video and 1,000 new subscribers to email newsletter.

  4. At least 30 lawmakers in attendance including strategic committee chair and relevant cabinet officials.

Outcomes should be directly tailored to the goals and objectives for your project. You decide what is important and significant and worthy of your time and donor’s support. Be ambitious but realistic. It is better to aim high and come close than to achieve small goals with ease. There are also different types of outcomes including but not limited to: public policy changes, media impact, demonstrable shifts in key indicators (e.g. Doing Business Index, Economic Freedom Index, etc.), audience growth, VIP endorsements, academic recognition, award recognition, fundraising growth, etc. Think carefully about what results are truly worthy of celebration.

Please think carefully about what specific outputs and outcomes make sense for your project. We do not encourage applicants to copy the examples we have provided.