ow do funders and grantees communicate? Generally, it is throughgrant proposals at the beginning of the relationship and through reports at the end. These proposals and results usually articulate expectations in terms of outputs and outcomes.
With good intentions, grantmakers want to know if their money is going to good use and hold their grantees accountable for achieving strong results. Grantees want to show that they have done the work they said they would do. Metrics are not a bad thing, but, if the goal of measurement is to encourage nonprofit executive directors and their teams to pay attention to a changing landscape, listen to their beneficiaries, and notice when a strategy isn’t working, traditional metric-based contracts between funders and grantees tend to hinder rather than help.
So how can funders and grantees adjust metrics to encourage experimentation, learning, and adaptation?
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