Confused by outcomes? The answer may lie in your oven…

Earlier this week, I tweeted a graphic created by Big Lottery Fund Scotland several years ago, showing the difference between inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes, which has always stuck in my mind. Turns out, it also struck a chord with many others on Twitter and, with 123 retweets and 328 likes at the time of writing (including a Tweet from Great British Bake Off’s Liam!), it seems that Big Lottery may have cracked it!

It’s crucial to understand the difference between these terms and how they apply to your projects, if you want to show funders not only what you’re going to do, but what changes that’s going to achieve.

Jon Marnold, formerly a Children in Need grantmaker, emphasised this in his reply:

The key thing to remember is that activities are pointless if nothing changes as a result – just as a cake is pointless if nobody enjoys it. And of course that *everything* is better with cake!


Lindsay Harrod is Senior Project Manager for the Special Projects & Fund Development team at the FSI.