Grants jargon buster

The website www.jargonbusters.org.uk is helpful in giving examples of how to answer common questions on funder’s application forms. Below are their basic definitions of common terms. On their website you’ll also find  useful real life examples how you could answer questions on the terms below on a funders application form.

Activities

The actions, tasks and work a project or organisation carries out to create its outputs and outcomes, and achieve its aims.

Aim (Overall)

Same as mission.

Aims (Specific)

Particular changes or differences the project or organisation plans to bring about for its users.

Baseline

Information about the situation that a project or organisation is trying to change, showing what it is like before it intervenes.

Evaluation

Using information from monitoring and elsewhere to judge and understand the performance of an organisation or project.

Hard outcomes

Outcomes that are clear and obvious, or which involve a change in behaviour or circumstances which is easily quantified.

Input

All the resources a project or organisation needs to carry out its activities.

Interim outcomes

Smaller changes that happen as steps on the way to the main outcome.

Intermediate outcomes

Same as interim outcomes.

Impact

Broader or longer-term effects of a project’s or organisation’s activities, outputs and outcomes. Also used as a calculation of net benefit once an allowance is made for what would have happened anyway and other factors.

Indicator

Well-defined information which shows whether something is happening.

Milestone

A well-defined and significant step towards achieving a target, output, outcome or impact, allowing you to track progress.

Monitoring

Collecting and recording information in a routine and systematic way to check progress against plans and enable evaluation.

Mission

Why an organisation or project exists and the broad effect that it wants to have. A summary of the overall difference it wants to make.

Objectives

The areas of activity or practical steps a project or organisation plans to accomplish its aims.

Outcomes

The changes, benefits, learning or other effects that result from what the project or organisation makes, offers or provides.

Outputs

Products, services or facilities that result from an organisation’s or project’s activities.

Qualitative information

Information about what you do, achieve or provide that tells you the nature of the thing you are doing, providing or achieving.

Quantitative information

Information about what you do, achieve or provide that tells you how many, how long or how often you have done it, achieved it or provided it.

Resources

Everything a project or organisation draws on to carry out its activities. These will include the people, equipment, money and services it needs. They may also be intangible, such as time, morale and knowledge.

Soft outcomes

Outcomes that are less easy to observe or measure, or which involve some form of change inside people, such as a change in attitude or a change in the way they see themselves.

Target

A defined level of achievement which a project or organisation sets itself to attain in a specific period of time.

Vision

The ideal state a project or organisation wants the world to be in. What the world will look like if the project or organisation is successful in achieving its mission.