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Effective Goal Statement in Grant Proposal


Compositing an effective grant proposal can be challenging as donors look for specific things, which can convince them to fund the project or the program for which funds are sought. At the heart of the donors concerned in the grant proposal is the goal statement. It is therefore important to ensure that the goal statement in the grant proposal is direct and consist of all the elements of which will make it compelling in nature (Ward, 2010). This paper will look at a well-written goal statement and a poorly written goal statement. It will then provide the difference between objectives and goals in a grant proposal.

Example of a Well-Written Goal Statement

“The goal of the youth programs provided at the Mead Valley Community Complex is to provide low-to no-cost activities for children, teens and young adults that enhance the social, emotional, physical and recreational functioning of elementary, middle and high school-aged children.”

Elements of a good goal statement in the grant proposal

A goal is generally a wide statement of what the project aims to achieve at the end of its proposed period. A good goal should have the following characteristics: it should be based on a vision that is broad in nature; it should stipulate general ideas that are intangible. It should be abstract in nature and should not be measurable (Ward, 2010). These elements are reflected in the above goal and this is why it is a good example of a convincing goal statement. A goal should be the general effects of the project intend to cause and should be linked to the need statement. A good goal should be specific, time bond and relevant to the society

Example of a bad goal statement in the grant proposal

“The goal of this youth program is to ensure that youths work on their storytelling techniques so that they can better their social skills in two months”.

This is a bad goal statement because it is measurable which may make it not to be attained within the stipulated time (Ward, 2010). This is because not all youths who will be involved in the program will be able to catch up with the teachings at the same rate which also made it not attainable. The goal can be changed to a better goal in the following way:

“The goal of the youth group would be to help youths work on their storytelling and other social skills so that they can improve their social skills in the short term.”

Difference between a grant proposal goal statement and objectives

Most of the people are of the views that the difference between goals and objectives is that goals describe the end of any specified destination whereas objectives are a measure of the progress that is needed to get to the specified destination (Ward, 2010). The table below shows the differences between goals and objectives.





Goals are wide and broad in scope

They are narrow in scope


Goals have a general intention and direction

They are specific and precise


They are intangible or rather soft

They are tangible


They are natural to inform of abstract

They are concrete in nature


Cannot be easily be measured and validated

They are easy to measure and validate


They are naturally large in size

They are small because are implemented in bits


They are the end of any program

They end when they are implemented


They are the results

They define the means to the end


The whole

Part of the whole, often with milestones


They are achieved in the long-term

They are achieved in short-term


Ward, D. (2010). Effective grants management. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.


The goals and an objective section of your grant proposal describe what your proposal wants to accomplish. It also details the result or the outcome of your project plan and how your organization plans to do it to achieve it. The goal of a grant proposal is a broad statement of what your project hopes to accomplish. The goals of it should be reflect back the need statement and must be linked to the needs of the project. When doing the goal statement in a grant proposal it should be Visionary and insightful, have a general intentions and Intangible (Examples). The aim is to make the reviewer interested. The SMART goal stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The goals of your proposal template should have the components that a smart goal has. It should be:

Specific. The goal in your grant proposal should be clear, sensible and specific.

Measurable. The goals should also be measurable so that you can track monitor it.

Attainable. It should also be achievable and still remain possible.

Relevant. Make sure that the goal matters to you, to your organization, and to the beneficiary.

Time-bounded. Your goal should have a deadline so that you can focus on doing it and you have something to work for. (Examples)

“The goal of this program is to feed Houston’s homeless” is a very poor example of a goal statement for a grant proposal. An effective goal statement includes measurable quantities and dates to reach the specified goals. A better example of a goal statement would be: “The goal of this program is to feed 1,000 of Houston’s homeless three meals per day from September 1, 2013, to December 31, 2014.” The better goals statement explains the measures, it gives a deadline in which the organization wants to complete the goal and its specific. The better example is not as vague as the first example.

Definition of Goals and objectives

Goals are defined as the target or purpose that a person imagines or plans to accomplish or to reach or to achieve in future. They are the driving force that directs a person to make efforts to achieve it.

“The aim or target which you want to achieve within a limited period is known as the objective.” “They are the milestones that help you to reach your goal.” “That is why they are also termed as subgoals.” It is a step to reach a particular point. Objectives are easily measured when the target is achieved. “For example, A company wants to increase its sales by 50% in the upcoming six months and then when it hits the target it can be measured through the sales figure (s, 2015).” Although there is a difference between goals and objectives, objectives are the steps that you take to achieve your goal.  “Goals involve lifelong ambition; it defines the destination where you want to see yourself after a particular period.” The objectives are short term targets that you set to achieve something, in a fixed period (s, 2015).”

Examples. (n.d.). How to Write Goals and Objectives for Your Grant Proposal. Retrieved April 18, 2018, from

s, S. (2015, November 9). Difference Between Goals and Objectives. Retrieved April 18, 2018, from

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