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Grant Reporting Tool: Glossary of Terms

Activity:  Actual events or actions that take place as part of the project to achieve goals and objectives.

Evaluation: The process of undertaking an analysis, at various degrees of formality, of the impact of a grant-funded project, usually communicated in the form of a report to the funder.

Goal: What is the desired result of the project in general terms? The broad, overarching purpose served by your project or service -- for instance, "Our purpose [or goal] is to help women victimized by abuse recover their strength, stability and self-esteem."

Indicator: An indicator is the more specific and measurable definition of an outcome. Indicators provide evidence that a certain outcome has been achieved.

Inputs: The resources necessary to implement a project or program. Includes human resources, equipment, training, materials, relationships/partnerships, space, etc.

Impact: The long-term and indirect effects of a program’s or project’s outcomes. Impacts are eventual outcomes.

Long-term Outcome: Occurs after the funding period or after program completion.

Measure/Measurement Tool: The tool used to collect the information necessary to determine whether an outcome or indicator has been achieved. Includes surveys, checklists, observations, standardized measures, documentation, etc.


Outcome: The changes in (or benefits achieved by) individuals or communities due to their participation in project activities. Time-specific, measurable statements describing the results to be achieved and the manner in which they will be achieved. This may include changes to participant’s knowledge, skills, values, behavior, conditions, or status.  For example, “30 of the 40 third grade students participating in the literacy program will increase their reading level by one grade level.”

Output (Product): Direct product of project activities; immediate measures of what the project will do and/or has done in the past. Sometimes referred to as deliverables. Activities quantified.

Program: An organized set of services designed to achieve specific outcomes for a specified population that will continue beyond the grant period.

Project: A planned undertaking or organized set of services designed to achieve specific outcomes that are time-limited.  (Note: A successful project may become an ongoing program of the organization.)

Short-term Outcome: Occurs during the funding period or during program implementation.

Technical Assistance: Operational or managerial assistance given to a nonprofit organization.  It may include fundraising assistance, budgeting, or financial planning, project planning, legal advice, marketing, evaluation design or planning, or other aids to management.  Assistance may be offered directly by a foundation or corporate staff member or in the form of a grant to pay for the services of a consultant.

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