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The “A” in the G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula
By Holly Rustick
Last week on the blog, we covered the R. in the G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula, which is Research Needs: Problem Statements. I included multiple examples for improving your grants with research, so you’ll definitely want to take a look if you haven’t already.
Today we’re going over the "A" in the G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula:
Articulating a goal for your grant can feel daunting when you are staring at a blank page or even the multitude of ideas for different grant projects. How do you simplify it, and instead of writing it once and forgetting it, use it as a guiding arrow for your entire grant?
If you bring everything back to your goal including your problem statement, objectives, activities, and even your budget, then you will have a strongly written grant.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of grant writers just throw out a goal, and they never circle back to it in their proposals. Because of that lack of cohesiveness, it sets their grant applications up to be weak and, honestly, not necessarily achievable.
Remember, you are asking for money, and the reason any funding source is going to give you money is so that you can make an impact and change something that is a priority to them. Keep your goal aligned with the funding source’s priorities!
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Okay, so how do you write an Articulate Goal and use it as a guide?
The best goals relate to a community goal and demonstrate a behavior change. This is not an objective. We will get into objective next week.
First, goals are the big, overarching aim of what your project hopes to achieve in the long-term.
For our example this week, I am utilizing the concept of building out a financial literacy project for pregnant teenagers and teenage moms in New Mexico. Last week, we identified a problem statement by conducting research.
What we found is that New Mexico has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation and that contributing factors are high teenage poverty rates, high poverty rates in general, and the cyclical generational components of children of teen parents being more likely to become teen parents themselves.
We defined our problem statement as:
The teenage pregnancy rate in New Mexico is the highest in the nation, with 62 out of 1,000 teenage youth pregnant compared to the U.S. average of 18.8 (CDC, 2017).
How to develop a goal
So what would be the goal? Well, here are 6 steps to help you create one.
Draft your project idea.
Example: Develop financial literacy programs and workforce training for pregnant teens or teenage parents.
Who/what is your target population to be served?
Example: Pregnant teenagers and teenage parents, ages 15 to 22-years-old.
What are the main problems your project will solve?
Example: Provide a pathway for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents with financial literacy and workforce development that complements housing projects. Problems of teenage poverty and cyclical teen pregnancy will be solved.
What is the main change you want to see?
Example: Decrease teen poverty and the cycle of teen pregnancy. Increase the quality of life and living conditions for pregnant teenagers and teen parents.
What are other community goals that align with your goal?
Example. “New Mexico Continuum of Care Model has a goal to Assess community resource gaps that affect youth and families.” (2018)
Final Result - Goal: Result of tying together above.
Example. "The Project will increase fiscal management and job wages for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents."
Now that you know the simple steps to create a goal, take some time to practice it yourself! The goal is a crucial component to grant writing. Don’t forget that it must agree with the priorities of the funding sources!
Next week, we’ll go over the fourth phrase in the G.R.A.N.T.S. formula – Narrow S.M.A.R.T. objectives!
If you can’t wait for the next 3 steps, click here to get your FREE cheat sheet and mini video training that covers the entire G.R.A.N.T.S Formula!