July 1, 2003
Source: The Urban Institute
As Volunteers of America begins implementing outcome measures in our approximately 100 different types of programs, one of our most difficult challenges is determining the long-term impact of our services. Do the newly employed retain their jobs and self-sufficiency? Do the parents and children who have been reunited remain together and continue healthy functioning? To measure these lasting effects, clients must be tracked after they leave our programs. Yet collection of follow-up data often strains the resources of community-based nonprofits, such as our local offices. Gathering these data may require staff efforts to be diverted from ongoing service delivery, and former clients may be difficult to locate or reluctant to provide follow-up information.