Measurement and Systems
Measuring outcomes accurately is key to proving the effectiveness of your program--important information not just for funders, but for your program managers as well. Whether you’re applying for a grant or trying to convince legislators of the importance of your cause, you need accurate statistics on national trends, state and regional data, and your own programmatic outcomes and client data.
Measuring Outcomes
At the Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center, many grants fund the Health Benefits insurance counselors, who enroll uninsured patient in MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, and other public health insurance programs. Yet the health center had no way to measure the work of the Health Benefits Counselors, making it difficult to set goals and measure progress towards achieving them.

I implemented a system for tracking the work of the Health Benefits Counsleors by utilizing the health center’s Practice Management System patient database. Health Benefits Counselors now fill out an encounter form every time they meet with a patient--the same way clinical staff do. The encounter forms track the type of assistance the Counselors provide, including educating patients about eligiblity requirements, submitting new applications, or following up with insurer requests for information.

I then created Access queries to gather data on the Counselors’ work. My queries provide information on the number of encounters by counselor, by type of assistance, and for the entire department, over any time period. I then trained the Health Benefits Counselors’ manager to use Access queries, not just to gather data for grant reports, but also as a management decision support system. I worked with the manager and the Director of Operations to use my queries to set annual productivity goals for Health Benefits Counselors.
Focus Group
After creating a website for the Franklin Park Coalition, I ran a focus group to test the website and gather qualitative and quantitative information. I assigned “tasks” to focus group members to learn how easy--or difficult--it was to find pieces of information on the website. I solicited the opinions of the focus group on navigation bar, layout, and other issues. Finally, I gave a quantitative questionnaire on ease of use and clarity in the way information was presented. The results of this questionnaire established a baseline for the organization to measure any changes against in the future, if they significantly overhaul the website.
The Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center lacked a way to track their grants, so I created a grants management database, with the assistance of a pro-bono database expert I secured. The user-friendly interface enables staff to move between grant leads, funded grants, funders (including foundations and public agencies), and staff. Reports are available at a click of a button to provide Development staff and department managers with information on staff funded by grants, upcoming reports that are due, funding leads, grant managers for each grant, and current grants.

Roll your mouse over the image below to see inside sections of the database, including the Grants form, Leads form, list of Funders, list of employees, and reports. (Of course, any information you’ll see is dummy data I entered to maintain the confidentiality of the health center’s development work.)
The Reports page below makes it easy to run customized analytical and fiscal reports. Staff enter a time period --a calendar year, fiscal year, or even a one-month period--and select a report, such as funds raised based on funder type (federal, state, foundation, corporate, etc.) or funds raised for each site. Staff can also see the success rate of the Development Department--what percentage of grants written were actually funded.

The Staff Funded by Grants report shows managers what grants are funding their staff and also lets the Development Department know how much of a staff member's salary is currently unfunded--and thus available for a new grant proposal.