Milestones and Reporting
What are Milestones?
Milestones are the goals your organization reports on annually during your award period. There are limited formatting requirements for written milestones or their subsequent reports to allow partners to use formatting that works best with their organization and staff. Milestones are not exhaustive lists of every goal a partner has, but should be concise and focus on the major strategic goals your organization will strive for during the requested grant period.
Please note that potential for renewal funding will not be tied to absolute achievement of all milestones, nor will absolute achievement of all milestones guarantee renewal funding. Instead, we use milestones as guideposts to having meaningful check-in conversations with our partners along the way.
Guidelines for Proposing Milestones
Milestone development is led by the partner, but milestones should adhere to the instructions below. If revisions are required in the proposed milestones, staff will reach out with specific questions or comments.
Note: new partners will need to submit Milestones for a 15 month period. Your Program Officer will provide more details during Due Diligence. Renewal partners can continue to propose 12 month Milestones.
Proposed milestones should be 1 page in length per year of the grant term.
For unrestricted or general operating grants, milestones should address the following strategic areas (for samples of each category click here):
Program Implementation and Impact
Expansion and Growth
Fundraising and Marketing/PR
Human Resources, Operations, and Systems
For project-based grants, milestones need not adhere to the strategic areas listed above. Rather, project-based grant milestones should be tailored to the stated goals of the project discussed throughout the proposal process.
Milestones should include both:
Your organization’s corresponding baseline information
Goals for the grant request period
For example, in crafting milestones, a partner should indicate current delivery levels, as well as each particular year’s goal (e.g., we currently serve 2,000 families each year, and our goal is to serve 2,500 in Year 1 of the grant, 2,750 in Year 2, etc.). When it comes time to report on those goals each year, partners should include (1) baselines, (2) goals, and (3) actuals.
Milestones should be in SMART goal format. That is, each goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Read more about SMART goals here.
Guidelines for Submitting Milestones
We encourage reports to adhere to the guideline of 3 pages or less. We understand this limits the amount of narrative detail you can provide. We view the report simply as a starting point for the check-in conversation.
Annual milestone reports are due by March 1st or September 1st each year (dependent on the assigned grant cycle for each partner).
Milestone reports can be up to 3 pages long, and should include:
Baselines from the start of grant term
The goals that were proposed for the reporting a period
The actual outcomes for the year
Staff will typically follow up after submission to set up a check-in phone call for more context on how you're doing. Staff will reach out to partners to set up check-in calls as time permits.
Legacy Partners submit Milestones on November 1st, are only required to submit actual outcomes for the year, and typically do not complete a check-in phone call.