Activities are a set of events that, although they are or seem beneficial to the community, are so loosely or informally conducted that it is difficult to readily ascertain if the events are truly needed by the community and/or are making any substantive difference in the community.
A nonprofit program is an integrated set of services conducted to meet specific, verified community need(s) by achieving certain specific outcomes among specifc group(s) of clients in that community. Services include ongoing systematic evaluations, as much as possible, to ensure that the specific outcomes are indeed being achieved and that the community's resources are best invested in that particular program.'
(Source: Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development with Nonprofits, page 138)
What are outcomes and why should we track them?
Institutional funders require programs to demonstrate their service effectiveness with more than anecdotal evidence. In recent years many organizations have adopted logic models as a framework for program planning and design. Inputs are the various resources required to operate programs, such as money, facilities, clients and paid or volunteer staff. Process includes the program activities (tutoring of children, job training for adults). Outputs are the units of service provided, for example, the number of clients completing jobs training, or number of children completing homework assistance. Outcomes are the impacts on the clients as a result of the organization’s services. Examples include increased community health, stabilized family units, increased employment and job advancement.