Track and report on the impact of your grants with the Outcomes Engine
The Outcomes Engine is available now to help you track and report on the impact of your grants.
The Outcomes Engine uses familiar functionality, including forms, standard fields and report templates, to help you collect outcomes data from your grantees.
With a few tweaks to your SmartyGrants forms that may not even be perceptible to your applicants you can start tracking the impact of your grants immediately.
You can also, if you wish, ask grantees to align with your organisation’s own outcome goals and common metrics.
Results are aggregated through a set of template reports, making outcomes data instantly available the moment you have received your first application.
The Outcomes Engine can be turned on for any SmartyGrants user once you’ve attended a free demonstration.
What is the Outcomes Engine?
The Outcomes Engine is a SmartyGrants reporting solution that helps you answer the perennial question, Did our grants make a difference?
The system helps grantmakers tackle social impact measurement, providing the ability to upload an outcomes framework (a list of outcomes and associated metrics) into your SmartyGrants instance that can be applied to any of your programs and rounds and linked to your forms and acquittals through standard sections.
How much does it cost?
The Outcomes Engine is available to all SmartyGrants users for a flat annual fee of $2990.
What does the fee include?
- The Outcomes Engine ‘turned on’ in your account, specifically this means
- Ability to upload an Outcomes Framework and start collecting data against that framework
- Ability to select which Outcomes and Metrics will apply to particular Programs and Rounds
- Ability to aggregate outcomes data and slice and dice it according to your needs
- Access to default Outcomes Engine standard sections – a menu of linked outcomes-related questions, split by theme, that have been tested with grantmakers, evaluation experts and grantees. Any or all of the questions can be added to any or all of your forms, acting as a funnel for outcomes data into your reports. Each section comes with template introductory and explanatory text (assisting with capacity building for your grantees), and each question can be edited (or omitted) to suit your own appetites and capacities, and those of your grantees.
- Dedicated Outcomes Engine section in the SmartyGrants Help Hub including:
- Self-help information on how to use the Outcomes Engine, including videos and helpsheets
- Example outcome frameworks for downloading and adapting
- Examples of outcomes reports and outcome report templates
- Regular improvements to service based on user feedback as you have come to expect from SmartyGrants
- 8 hours* of one-on-one outcomes specialist support in the first year to help you get your outcomes framework working well in the system
- Free webinars/training on outcomes and outcomes engine
- Invitation to a facilitated monthly online community of practice (Outcomes Engine Muster) to talk and share experience with other Outcome Engine users
- An optional Outcomes Engine review and feedback after 12 months
- Reporting tools and templates that will allow you to instantly identify and showcase outcomes data that can be aggregated to create an overall view of the progress to date, or filtered to a particular Domain, Outcome, Program, Round or date range.
- Support team for general technical queries
Note: This offering is subject to change during the early stages of the Outcomes Engine rollout.
*What does the eight hours of outcomes specialist support in the first year look like?
As part of the onboarding to the Outcomes Engine you will have up to eight hours free help from your own SmartyGrants Outcomes Navigator!
- Advice and support on what to include in your outcomes framework, including best practice outcomes and outputs from an outcomes measurement specialist.
- Advice and support on training and supporting the rest of your organisation to adopt an outcomes-focused granting mindset
- Advice on use/adaptation of Outcomes Engine Default Standard Sections for the collection of applicant outcomes/metrics
- Advice and support on using the All Fields SmartyGrants report template to extract outcomes data
- Review of forms that include Outcomes Engine Default Standard Sections
- Developing a theory of change or measurement and evaluation framework – we can, however, discuss with you where to get this support from
- Form-building services, other than assistance with the Outcomes Engine Default Standard Sections (our Managed Services team can assist with this for a fee)
- Report-building services, other than assistance with using or adapting our template reports (our Managed Services team can assist with this for a fee)
- General technical queries – our free SmartyGrants support team can help with this either online or via our help number.
The one-off pack of eight hours needs to be booked in two-hour slots via our online booking system and is subject to availability. For technical support our support team is available as per our Support and Maintenance Policy, and our Managed Services team can provide further assistance such as grant program reviews, form- and report-building services, or further outcomes measurement and support services.
What’s the best time to get started?
The best time to start collecting outcomes data is 50 years ago. The second-best time is now!
Most grantmakers start using the Outcomes Engine when they’re preparing for a new round, but you can get going at any time – the system works at any phase of the grantmaking cycle, from application to assessment to reporting/acquittal.
All you need is a thirst to know more about your impact, the support of your system administrators and program managers, and a SmartyGrants login. You’ll also need to set aside about an hour for us to walk you through a demo, and you’ll need another couple of hours, most likely, while we work with you to configure your account to suit.
Ready, fire, aim!
Dozens of grantmakers are already using the Outcomes Engine to track and report on their impact.
Ready to join them? You can signal your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.