Guide to ARC Project Performance Measures

All ARC projects must have documented performance measures. Applicants estimate their project’s measures in project applications, and report on progress in interim and closeout reports. For detailed information about measuring performance for your project, click the link for your project type in the list below.  

Measures may be outputs or outcomes. Outputs are the direct products of project activities and are frequently measured in terms of the volume of work accomplished. Outcomes are benefits or changes for individuals, communities, organizations, businesses, or other entities during or after the project’s grant period. They are the measurable results or impact. 

Every ARC implementation project should have at least one output measure and one outcome measure from ARC’s catalog of measures. Planning projects must include, at a minimum, the output plans/reports. There are some output measures that have a direct correlation with an outcome measure—these are called paired measures and must be reported together. Paired measures demonstrate improvements experienced by individuals or entities served by an ARC-funded project, and are expressed as served and improved (e.g., students served, students improved). Other measures, called standalone measures, can be reported individually. Project proposals may include both paired and standalone measures when applicable.

General Tips

  • Prioritize quality over quantity when choosing performance measures for your project. It is far better to identify a few measures that are logical, realistic, and easily documented than to identify as many measures as possible, set aspirational performance targets, or have no practical way of tracking and documenting performance outcomes.  
  • Think about how you will demonstrate each measure; be prepared to track and report these measures over the course of your project during grant implementation, potentially during an audit, and up to three years after your grant has closed. Grantees are encouraged to inform your beneficiaries or clients that any data they provide to you (e.g., leveraged private investment, jobs created, jobs retained, workers/trainees improved, etc.) will be requested on a regular basis.   
  • For the paired measures, a grant applicant and ARC project coordinator must agree on what constitutes measurable improvement, and methods for measuring the degree of improvement must be provided. The improved number is always a subset of, or the same as, the served number.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Performance Measures Index

Click below for an alphabetical listing of all ARC performance measures.

Performance Measures by Project Type