In nonprofit organizations, the pursuit of meaningful change is at the heart of their mission. Whether it’s addressing social issues, supporting communities, or saving lives, nonprofits exist to create a positive impact. To make a real difference, they need a systematic approach to measure and manage their outcomes effectively. This is where Outcome Management (OM) steps in. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Outcome Management is, why it matters, and how the new Nonprofit Cloud OM app from Salesforce is revolutionizing the way nonprofits track and evaluate their impact.
At its core, Outcome Management revolves around understanding and defining outcomes. An outcome is the change expected as a result of a nonprofit’s services or programs. Let’s take the example of a nonprofit dedicated to helping students overcome personal challenges so they can graduate from high school. One of their outcomes could be an increase in overall academic performance. To manage this outcome effectively, nonprofits need to employ SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to track and demonstrate the effectiveness of their services.
It’s crucial to distinguish between outcomes and outputs. While outputs describe what an organization does, outcomes represent the tangible changes that occur as a direct result of their work. In the context of helping students graduate high school, an output could be the number of tutoring sessions provided, while an outcome would be a higher grade point average or improved standardized test scores.
The Quest for Impact
Nonprofits are driven by the desire to create a lasting impact. Beyond achieving short-term outcomes, they aim for long-term, positive change aligned with their organizational goals. For our use case, this could mean improved career opportunities, increased earning potential, enhanced life skills, and stronger communities. In essence, impact is the ultimate goal; it’s what motivates those involved in the nonprofit sector.
Measuring impact is not as straightforward as it may seem. Nonprofits are adept at defining impact strategies, but tracking and analyzing the data can be overwhelming. This is where the Nonprofit Cloud OM app from Salesforce comes into play.
Nonprofit Cloud Outcome Management App
The Nonprofit Cloud OM app is a groundbreaking tool designed to streamline outcome tracking and evaluation. It gives nonprofits a centralized platform to measure and manage their outcomes efficiently. Here’s how it works:
- Defining Impact Strategies: Nonprofits enter their long-term impact strategies into the app. For instance, one approach might focus on Financial Wellbeing.
- Tracking Outcomes: Nonprofits add specific outcomes aligned with their strategies. These outcomes represent the changes they expect to achieve through their services.
- Setting Indicators: Indicators, or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), are defined for each outcome. These indicators provide measurable data to assess the success of the outcome. For example, a KPI could be the clients’ Debt to Income ratio decreasing.
- Capturing Activities: Nonprofits link their desired outcomes to the programs or services they offer. This connection helps in understanding how specific activities contribute to achieving desired outcomes.
- Time-Based Measurement: Nonprofits set a clear time period for outcome measurement, along with target and baseline values. Being SMART also means being specific about the time element.
- Data Collection: Salesforce’s strength lies in data management. The app allows nonprofits to collect and store all relevant data in one place, eliminating the need for disparate spreadsheets and documents.
- Real-time Dashboards: The app includes dynamic dashboards that provide a real-time overview of all outcomes and their progress. This enables nonprofits to make informed adjustments as they go, rather than waiting to analyze results later.
One of the most exciting aspects of OM is its versatility. While initially designed for nonprofits, the Winter 24 release of the Nonprofit Cloud OM app extends its capabilities to various sectors, including public sector solutions, energy and utilities, net-zero initiatives, manufacturing, and automotive industries. This broad applicability emphasizes the potential of OM to drive impact across diverse fields.
In the world of nonprofits, impact is the ultimate goal. Outcome Management is the key to understanding, measuring, and improving that impact. With the introduction of the Nonprofit Cloud OM app, nonprofits gain a powerful tool to streamline their outcome tracking and evaluation processes, ultimately maximizing their ability to create positive, long-term change in the world. See what’s new with Public, Education, and Nonprofit with the Winter 24 release in Trailhead.
Ready to make a lasting impact with your Nonprofit? Let’s connect and collaborate on your goals!