Your Organisation’s Track Record
Funders want to support organisations that:
- Have sustainable programs and resources
- Provide quality services and measurable outcomes
- Have appropriate and transparent financial arrangements.
They want to know:
- What existing or previous programs and services you have provided
- The need/s that they addressed
- Whether the programs and services were successful and made a difference.
Map Your Programs and Services
Funding bodies need to be told about the services and programs provided by your organisation so they may:
- Ascertain whether such programs and services are driven by community need and demand
- Determine how much experience you have in delivering programs and services of the type for which you are seeking funds.
The table below provides an overview of organisational and service features you may wish to record.
|What is/was provided?||Education, counselling, advocacy|
|Who funded it?||Education Department, Health Department|
|How long was the program/service provided for?||12 months|
|When was the service provided?||Monday from 2 pm to 6 pm|
|To whom was it provided?||Young people, drug users, families|
|Where was it provided?||Toorak Gardens, Victoria; Bundaberg, Queensland|
|What was the mode of delivery?||One-off events, mixed mode, telephone|
|How many people accessed the program?||10, 100, 1000|
|What was involved?||Implementation, maintenance, evaluation, collaboration|
"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results". - Winston Churchill
When delivering programs or services, you should measure:
- What you are doing
- How well you are doing it
- The outcomes of your programs and services.
Implementing systems and processes to regularly collect and analyse this information is important to:
- Inform the design, delivery, and maintenance of quality services
- Provide information to consumers, the community, and funders about the benefits your organisation provides
- Increase transparency and accountability in your reporting requirements to funders.
Critical Success Factors (aka Key Result Areas)
Define your organisation's critical success factors before you measure what you do, how well you do it, and the outcomes of your services and programs. Your organisation's critical successes are the:
- "Aspects of organisational performance that determine ongoing health, vitality and well being" (Niedritis, A., Niedrite, L., & Kozmina, N., 2011)
- Essential areas of activity which must be performed well for your organsiation to achieve its mission, objectives and goals.
Your organisation's critical success factors should operate over the four domains contained in the table below.
Factors determined by industry-specific matters
Organisations need to adhere to so they may remain competitive
Provide quality services
Employ staff with at least a minimum qualification
|Environmental||Factors resulting from macro-environmental influences on an organisation||
Effectively collaborate with other organisations
Increase use of emerging technologies in service delivery
|Strategic||Factors determined by your Board as strategic in positioning the organisation||Consult regularly with the local community and other stakeholders|
|Temporal||Factors resulting from the organisation's internal forces||Consistently review and evaluate performance to drive improvement|
Knowing your organisation's critical success factors will help you to identify:
- The performance measures needed to achieve your organisation's goals
- Which stakeholders should be approached for feedback on your organisation
- The tools and processes required to evaluate your organisation's activities, services, and programs.
To determine your critical success factors, consider your organisation's strategic goals (see Your Vision, Mission, and Strategy) and ask:
"What area of business or activity is essential to achieve this goal?"
Why is it important to identify your organisation's critical success factors?
Identifying your organisation's critical success factors is important to:
- Streamline your organisation's reporting requirements
- Help everyone involved in your organisation understand what is expected of them
- Link your daily activities to the organisation's strategy
- Highlight your organisation's unique abilities and distinctive qualities
- Conduct evaluations and identify areas of achievement and improvement.
Measuring Your Critical Success Factors
To obtain funding, many funding bodies require organisations to:
- Undertake accreditation and continuous quality improvement processes (or be working towards these)
- Demonstrate their key results indicators (e.g., how many people use your service)
- Identify their key performance indicators.
Your approach and the way you document your key results will depend on the nature of the project and its objectives. Results can be recorded as either processes, outcomes or a combination of both.
Whichever way you record your results, you will need to describe how your evaluation information will be collected and how the data will be analysed.
Obtain information from a variety of sources when measuring your services and/or programs. Diverse information is required to inform different stakeholders.
To inform the design and delivery of effective, appropriate, and efficient services, organisations need to measure:
- What they are delivering (process evaluation) and what they are achieving (outcome evaluation) to determine how they may improve
- The views of consumers about the strengths and weaknesses of the services received to ensure they are delivering quality services.
The programs and services provided by your organisation should be routinely evaluated to record whether your organisation is achieving its objectives and how well it is achieving them.
|Type of Results||Description||Who do you ask?|
What has been done?
How it has been done?
Who has been involved or reached?
Quality of activities
Examples of process results include:
Document changes (i.e., what was the situation beforehand and what is it like now?)
How has it changed in the short- and medium-term? This could be documented in two ways:
Examples of impact results include comparing changes before and after a project started (e.g., bed occupancy rates at the beginning and then at the end of the project period).
Consumer Health Outcomes
Measuring consumer health outcomes in alcohol and other drug organisations is important to ensure the services and programs provided are relevant, accessible, effective and efficient. A consumer health outcome is:
- A change in a consumer's health status between two points in time
- Measured to assess change or improvement as a result of the services received.
A range of relevant and reliable instruments are available. For further guidance, see:
When completing your database of previous programs and services, record how the outcomes were measured. Consumer's health outcomes can inform which aspects of your programs or services are effective, efficient, or appropriate regardless of the episodic nature in which many people with alcohol and drug problems engage with services and/or the manner in which their wellbeing, functioning and quality of life may fluctuate over time.
Your Benefits and Impact
"It’s not what you’re selling that matters; it’s what I’m buying that counts." Simone P. Joyaux
Funding bodies need to be persuaded that your organisation should receive their money. They see their support as an investment and prefer to invest in organisations which can value-add to the funding they provide. Tell funders about the:
- Benefits of working with your organisation
- Long term impacts your organisation has had on the community.
The Benefits and Impact of Alcohol and Other Drug Non-Government Organisations
Alcohol and other drug agencies are human-change agents. They exist to either bring about some change in the way someone behaves or their circumstances, attitude, health, competence and capacity. Like all community organisations, alcohol and other drug agencies contribute to community wellbeing in four broad ways. Alcohol and other drug agencies:
- Provide services to consumers
- Influence and promote change on economic, social, cultural and environmental issues (e.g., providing education programs, contributing to research, and increasing understanding of effective approaches)
- Connect individuals to community networks
- Invest in skills, knowledge and physical, social, cultural and environmental assets for the benefit of future generations.
Benefits provided by non-profit organisations derive from the services and outcomes provided to:
- Funders and partners.
Explaining these benefits in a funding application requires:
- Knowledge about the field
- Insight into your identified consumer base
- Creativity and imagination
- Good writing skills.
Some may think that the benefits of their organisation are the same as the outcomes; however, there are distinct differences.
An outcome is a result which affects real world behaviour/circumstances and may lead to one or more benefits. Benefits are measurable improvements resulting from, and enabled by, the outcomes. An illustration of the difference between an outcome and benefit is shown below. For more information about how to promote the positive outcomes and benefits produced by your organisation, see the table below.
Your Organisation's Success Stories
Success stories are powerful tools which help:
When preparing your success stories, consider the following:
Success stories may be used to:
Creating Success Stories
Don't collect success stories haphazardly or at the last minute. Instead:
Explore Your Organisational Strengths
Organisations that strive to create an advantage continue to be competitive over time. The process of exploring the strengths within your organisation is similar to other organisational analyses. It requires working with internal and external stakeholders to identify what works well. By exploring what works well, the leadership and management teams can focus energy on catalysing those areas of success and applying “what works” to areas that need a boost.
- One-on-one interviews with members of the executive and management team
- Gathering feedback from individual employees through focus group discussions, interviews, and anonymous surveys
- Identifying employee talents
- Collecting information and feedback on organisational processes, communications, and collaborations
- Evaluating the organisation's website and promotional activities
- Obtaining feedback from consumers, the local community, funders, and other partners
- Measuring consumer engagement
- Analysing inputs and outputs.
Promoting Your Organisational Benefits
Great ways to create and promote funding opportunities for your organisation include participating in community events, contacting local businesses and councils, and developing success stories for the local media as well as feature on your organisation's website, When promoting your organisation:
- Identify, profile and understand who will be receiving your message
- Practice your message and delivery and obtain feedback from someone representing the target audience before publicising.
A referee is someone who can vouch for your organisation and its capacity to successfully conduct the project. When choosing a referee, consider:
- Agencies your organisation regularly works or consults with
- The objectives of your proposal
- The target audience of your proposal.
- Develop a list which highlights your organisation's critical success factors and ability to achieve them.
- Promote your organisation's success stories on your organisation's website, in the local media, in community presentations, and when networking with local businesses and/or other organisations.
- Keep it simple: Organisations should only have between 5 and 8 critical success factors.
Complete the activities below by entering text into the fields provided and/or completing the attached documents. If you download and complete an attached document, you will have to save this to your personal file.
You may also:
- Export these answers: You may export your answers to the activities to a word document without saving to Your Funding Portfolio. Responses can then be saved in your personal files
- Print this page: Users may print the page
- Save and continue to next step: Users may save their responses to a secure server before continuing to another section of the resource. Users may then export and print all their saved responses from Your Funding Portfolio
- Save progress: Users may save their responses as they work on the page.