Although now coming to the fore in New Zealand in a new way, public policy has put increasing emphasis on ‘outcomes’, ‘impacts’ and ‘results’ for at least a quarter of a century. And who could object to paying attention to, and reporting on, and even being funded on the basis of our results? Are community & voluntary organisations just worried that they may not be performing as well as their own rhetoric implies? The reality is more complex. This paper suggests there are both practical and conceptual problems relying on an Outcomes approach, including counter-productive incentives, and perverse threats to an organisations actual learning and on-going improvement. The paper concludes with what, instead, might be useful and realistic for both funders and community & voluntary organisations to do in the face of these increasing demands for an Outcomes focus.