The A in the G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula

Articulating Goals for Stronger Proposals – the ‘A’ in the GRANTS Formula

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 delve into the next element of the G.R.A.N.T.S. Formula: Articulate Goals.

Crafting a compelling goal for your grant proposal can be a daunting task, especially when faced with a blank page or a myriad of project ideas. However, by simplifying the process and using your goal as a guiding arrow throughout your entire grant, you can significantly enhance the quality of your proposal.

Unfortunately, many grant writers overlook the importance of revisiting and reinforcing their goals within their proposals. This lack of cohesiveness weakens their grant applications and undermines their potential for success. Remember, when seeking funding, the ultimate aim is to make an impact and address the priorities of the funding source.

In this article, we will guide you on how to write an articulate goal and effectively use it as a guide. The best goals not only align with community aspirations but also demonstrate a tangible behavior change. While objectives will be discussed in the following week, goals serve as the overarching aim of your project, outlining its long-term achievements.

Articulate Goals in Grants

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!

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).