Tracking progress is an important component of the Hewlett Foundation’s practice of outcome-focused philanthropy (OFP), which emphasizes being rigorous, flexible, and adaptive while staying focused on results and actively learning throughout the strategy lifecycle.

The outcomes we hope to achieve through our strategies take years to accomplish. Implementation markers represent interim steps toward these outcomes. “Implementation marker” is a catchall term referring to particular activities, developments or events (internal or external) that help staff understand whether they are making progress in the near term.

This guide is a deep dive into implementation markers—what they are and how to set, collect, reflect on and use them. It is intended primarily for Hewlett Foundation staff; however, we hope other organizations, including grantees and other foundations, will find it useful.