Goals and Objectives

What do you hope to achieve with a grant?  This is the question you must answer in terms of numbers and trackable statements. What does that mean? 

Funders want to know in concrete, measurable terms what will happen if they fund your project proposal.  Track program goals and objectives helps us to know if we are accomplishing the tasks we set forth in the proposal.

An example:  ” We will increase the number of clients/students served by 100% during the project period.”

A word of caution.  Do not go overboard! Only include outcome numbers that are obtainable. Some funders, federal especially, will hold grant recipients to their goal projections. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can result in unreached goals. 

For example, grant projects that were active, in the area where hurricane Katrina hit, obviously had a good reason for grant project goals or objectives being incomplete.  Just don’t bet on a hurricane to hit to have a valid justification for an incomplete project!

In most of the proposals I write, I include the main goal  for this particular project/program and then list the objectives (that are measurable) to detail how the goal will be obtained.

For example:

Overall Project/Program Goal: To improve retention among low-income, high risk, students in science, technology and math courses. ( The target population is defined in the needs section of the project proposal.)

Objective 1. By implementing a research-based comprehensive student support program during the first quarter of project year 1. ( It is measurable either you do it or you don’t.)

Objective 2:  By serving  50 freshmen students with the new student support program during the three-year project period. (It is measurable- attendance or program enrollment records.)

Objective 3: By providing in-service training to faculty and staff on research-based best practice methods of  servicing the target population. (Measurable- attendance sheets and classroom performance of the target population prior to the faculty in-service and after the in-service.)

Do you get the idea? There may be several objectives needed in order to meet the overall goal. The method that the objectives will be accomplished, and how you will know when they are accomplished, are the steps to develop in the timeline and evaluation portion of  the proposal.

Resources for developing goals and objectives for your project:

http://www.doe.in.gov/sdfsc/docs/writing-gos.pdf

http://nonprofit.about.com/od/foundationfundinggrants/a/goalsobjectives.htm

 You can find more resources on the samples page on this site. 

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