WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOAL & AN OBJECTIVE
One of the most frequently asked questions is, “What is the difference between a goal and an objective?” Grant applications will ask you for your program’s goals and objectives to be clearly identified, realistic, measurable and attainable.
To begin with, goals are more general. They are abstract and broad in nature. Goals touch on a broad spectrum by describing the program’s intentions. They also provide a higher context of who and what you intend to reach. You must clearly identify your goals to the funding agency, because this is how they will know and understand what you want to accomplish with the funds you are requesting from them. Goals define for your reviewer a general sense of the direction where your program is headed.
On the other hand, objectives are the framework for how you will accomplish your goals. They support your goals by describing the specifics of your proposed program. For example, if your program will provide direct services to youth who are underserved, then each objective under that goal should clearly explain to the funding agency the following:
- Who will be involved;
- What tasks will be achieved; and,
- By when will you accomplish these activities.
An objective is precise and concrete. It is also narrow in scope by giving, for instance, a specific number or percentage of the population to be reached and a measurable timeline. Your objectives will, therefore, strengthen your goals by providing a clear description of the road map you will follow.
A strategy that Guide to Grants Plus [www.GuidetoGrantsPlus.com] recommends for a highly successful grant application is to connect your goals and objectives to your budget. Your line items should reflect the course that you set out for your program during the lifetime of the grant. Always remain on course throughout your grant application narrative and tie it back to your budget. In other words, be consistent. Reviewers look for inconsistencies throughout your proposal. Build a cohesive proposal strong enough to withstand the rigorous review process. Your goal is to get funded!
Author: Elizabeth Eguia-Garcia
CEO & President
Guide to Grants Plus (c) 2010 All Rights Reserved.