Why Outcomes?

The Outcomes Observer
On December 12th I will be presenting at the inaugural session of the Nonprofit Texas Leadership Institutes in Austin, sponsored by the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Center for Community-based and Nonprofit Organizations of Austin Community College.  Preparatory to that event, Barry Silverberg, President of TANO, asked me to pen an article for the Institute’s first newsletter.  The following is that article   Why Outcomes? Why should the nonprofit sector change what it has been doing for well over 100 years?   That she was feeling pressured and under a tremendous strain was readily apparent: you could read it in the lines on her face and in her tired, tired eyes.  Not thirty days earlier the county executive had announced the unilateral cancellation of all contracts not deemed…
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Penna's Perch
In this inaugural edition of our blog, maybe the first question we ought to answer is Why do this; why launch yet another blog in a space that is already overwhelmed with competing opinions and a lack of consensus on so many basic issues? One reason is precisely because of the multiplicity of opinions regarding outcomes, the need for them in the work of nonprofits (and government, and philanthropy…).  On one side, there are those who suggest that because of the historical lack of a focus on outcomes, there is scant evidence that the work of most nonprofits has made any discernible difference at all on the multiple problems these organizations exist to address. Additionally, there are some who suggest that those pushing for outcomes in the work of nonprofits…
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