Properly establishing goals and objectives

Published 4:57pm Friday, October 14, 2011

In the last article we shared plans for developing the second step of the proposal – the need statement. In this article we will continue to talk about the steps for writing a successful grant, but focusing on the goals and objectives.
The goals and objectives section for the grant proposal should be written to let the funder/grantee/foundation know what your organization hopes to accomplish with your project/program/equipment. It should also state the specific results or outcomes you plan to accomplish during the funding period stated by the funder.

What is a goal?
Goals should be extensive, universal, intangible and abstract. A goal should describe the final impact or outcome that your organization wishes to bring about as a result of the funder providing funds for your grant proposal.
When writing goals for the grant proposal, make sure the goal always reflects and is connected to the need statement previously written in the proposal. In writing the goals, try using “creative thinking words” in your goals. Examples would be to… improve, increase, produce, decrease, deliver and develop.
An example of a well-written goal would be: “Decrease the degree of malnutrition among young children in Western North Carolina.”

What is an objective?
A goal is only as good as the objective(s) that follow it. The objective represents the stride or strides toward accomplishing the goal of the program/project/equipment. In contrast to the goal, an objective is contracted, specific, tangible, real and can be measured.
Some tips to help you write the objective(s): state your objective in quantifiable terms, state the objectives in terms of outcomes, specify the end product of an activity, identify your target audience or the communities in which the grant will be serving, ensure your objectives are reasonable and able of being accomplished within the grant period stated by the funder.
An example of an objective to go with the example goal given above would be: “By the end of year one, provide 224 mothers in Western North Carolina with a one-hour training program that will provide health and nutrition information.”
Some additional tips for you when writing your goals and objectives:
Always tie your goals and objectives directly to your need statement
Make sure to include all the groups and individuals in your target population that you will be serving
Don’t push yourself or the organization – allow plenty of time to accomplish your objectives
Remember that objectives are different from your methods (we will discuss this in the next article)
Spend time thinking about how you will measure the change projected in each objective (keep in mind while thinking, if there is no way to measure the objective it is not an objective and needs to be re-written
Don’t forget to include in your grant budget a line item for measuring the objectives
The next article will continue the steps for writing the grant, focusing on the third step of the proposal – the method section.

Nonprofit Leadership column, written by Melissa Le Roy a nonprofit consultant is aimed at providing guidance from Melissa’s perspective as a leader in both the nonprofit and for profit businessworld.
For questions or comments related to this series, please feel free to contact me at

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