Although I included an exclamation at the end of this article title, doesn’t it sound as dry as dust? Probably one of the biggest challenges facing grant writers is trying to express meaningful and exciting goals and objectives and their intended outcomes in their applications. Surely you don’t want to: a) bore the grant reviewer to death, b) seriously confuse them, or c) exasperate them to the point of throwing the said app in the nearest trash can. What can a good grant writer do?
Successful grant authors understand that in the midst of the sea of facts and figures, all grant funders really want is to understand how a proposed program will help solve the problem they are trying to address. Using the following techniques, you can also be a rock star who sets goals and gives results. Rock on!
Understand the difference between goals, objectives and results.
While a goal provides a general statement of the purpose of your program, the goals are more specific and specific in how the goal will be achieved. Your results should reflect the expected outcome at the end of the project period of your proposal.
For example, a community cancer wellness program is aimed at cancer patients at risk of not receiving prescribed medical care due to lack of insurance or being uninsured. Below is a suggested goal, objective, and outcome in the application.
Goal: The Cancer Wellness Foundation will help 1,000 people receive medical treatment prescribed for their cancer diagnosis that would otherwise not have access to care.
Goal: Three hundred cancer patients will be issued gas vouchers that they cannot afford to transport to and from the prescribed radiotherapy and chemotherapy consultations.
Result: Ninety-five percent of cancer patients participating in the transportation program will report that they have received all chemotherapy and radiation treatments as recommended by their doctor.
Be as specific as possible.
Funders appreciate as much detail as you can provide in writing measurable goals.
For example, an extracurricular program is aimed at young adolescents at risk to help them complete their high school education.
One goal: Eighty-five percent of program participants will have a better understanding of math and reading skills that will allow them to complete graduation in the future.
A better goal: Eighty-five percent of program participants will obtain at least a higher qualification level by the end of the first year of the program.
Face your facts and figures.
While statistics are an important element in conveying your need and urgency, try to include specific examples of clients that help them paint a visual image in the mind of the grant reviewer.
While the example above provides significant data, see how the following example brings the program to life:
When Karen arrived at the XYZ Youth Center, she was struggling and afraid of not being able to complete her training. He had been skipping classes at least twice a week and had tried two degrees behind. Because Karen’s parents worked long hours to help support the family, she didn’t get the extra help and encouragement she needed at home. Referred to by a social worker, Karen became a participant in the XYZ program and began working with a mentor who provided individual support. She also attended weekly support meetings with other children who, like Karen, had problems. Six months later, Karen reported that she felt less frustrated when she was studying and even began to find her math and reading classes exciting. At the end of Karen’s first year on the program, she took grade level tests and was excited to advance to the next grade with her class.
Remember, it may not be the most fun part of writing your grant application, but the goals and objectives section is important. The time you need to create meaningful program measures is always a time well spent.