Outcomes Engine

SMARTY TECH

Track and report on the impact of your grants with the Outcomes Engine

Outcomes image

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 account 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 free to all SmartyGrants users. You just need to contact the service team to 'turn it on'.

What does the Outcome Engine include?

When the Outcomes Engine is ‘turned on’ in your account you will have the;

  • 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.

What if I need support?

The dedicated Outcomes Engine section in the SmartyGrants Help Hub includes:

  • 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 to download.

You also have access to:

  • Four Outcomes Engine Learning modules through the SmartyGrants learning management system.
  • Free webinars/training on outcomes and the Outcomes Engine.
  • Invitation to a facilitated monthly online Outcomes Community of Practice to share experiences with other Outcomes Engine users.
  • A support team for general technical queries.

For one-on-one support, you can purchase a package of eight hours of onboarding support from one of our experts for £1000. This package includes:

  • Advice and support on what to include in your outcomes framework, including best practices from an outcomes measurement specialist.
  • Guidance on training and supporting your organization in adopting an outcomes-focused granting mindset.
  • Advice on using/adapting Outcomes Engine Default Standard Sections for collecting applicant outcomes/metrics.
  • Assistance with using the All Fields SmartyGrants report template to extract outcomes data.
  • Review of forms that include Outcomes Engine Default Standard Sections.

The eight-hour package 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. Additionally, our Managed Services team can provide further assistance such as grant program reviews and form- and report-building services.

Other Evaluation or Impact Measurement Support

If you would like more support, such as:

  • Developing a theory of change or measurement and evaluation framework for your grant program.
  • Producing a mid-term or end of program evaluation report of your grant program.
  • Training your team or community in impact measurement.

These services will become available after October 2024. Please get in touch with our Managed Services team if you are interested in hearing more.

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 to read through our help support and LMS modules so you can 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? Email service@smartygrants.com.