In the last issue [Guam Business Magazine 2017 Top Companies, November/December 2017] we discussed that grant writing is not dead, the grant writing structure (and how to design your grant team) and how to articulate the grant section concerning the history of your organization. In this issue we will discuss two major parts of your grant: the needs and target demographic and the goals, objectives, outcomes and action plan timeline.
Needs and target demographic
This is the heart-wrenching part of your grant application. This is the ‘why’ your project needs to happen. Your project will be the solution. This section will take a bit of time for you to do the proper research and find updated statistics. You cannot just pull statistics out of the sky. You may think, “Well, I know that a village on Guam has high poverty, so I will just write that.” You may be right, but you need to reference a current source (which should be dated within the previous five years) to prove your point. For instance, you can look at the U.S. Census to reference the number of households under the poverty line a certain area. You could also include information from newspapers, articles, surveys, community meetings (reference minutes of meetings) and so on. But, they need to be cited and relevant information for your project. For instance, it doesn’t make sense if you include information and statistics about the elderly in your needs section (and take up precious pages in your grant application) if your entire project is about STEM projects for youth. This goes for your target demographic as well. Most of your information should be based on your target demographic and not about the demographic at large. It may be important to first draw a brief overview of where your city is located and how many schools are in your community, but then get to the point.
The target demographic simply states who you will serve. Sometimes you will be serving all in the community with specific projects, but often you will be serving a particular segment of the population. By narrowing down a specific portion of the population, you will have a little more control over the results. For this example, it could be that you are serving girls, ages 14-years-old to 18-years-old on the island of Guam (or even in a specific village).
Goals, objectives and outcomes
This section of the grant is where the magic happens. Once you know your problem statement, you can figure out clear objectives, goals and outcomes. This is the backbone of your project. If you have your objective, you will be able to formulate a budget, implement activities and solve your problem (and build your house).
Let’s start by writing a clear goal. A clear goal can really be the flipside of the problem statement. We can refer to us a fictitious example of the Youth Soccer Rocks nonprofit in Rocking Socks City which is creating a soccer camp that will serve underserved youth in the city.
The problem statement may be, “75% of youth in the city of Rocking Socks suffer from chronic health issues compared to the national average of 12%. These staggering health issues correlate with high suicide rates, depression rates and poor graduation rates”.
The goal could basically be flipping this problem statement around and might be, “Youth Soccer Rocks will provide a free soccer program for at-risk youth and provide a healthy pathway.”
Think of goals as the overarching aim and objectives as the specific framework of what will be accomplished. Typically, you do not want to have any more than three objectives within a project. You will have many activities, but the number of overall objectives should be clear and concise. Objectives need to be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
An objective for Youth Soccer Rocks could be, “100 disadvantaged youth in Rocking Socks will receive sport scholarships by the end of twelve months.”
The outcomes are what will specifically be accomplished. Include your baseline and how data will be tracked to communicate your outcomes. For example, outcomes could be, “In the beginning of the project, there are zero sport scholarships available to disadvantaged youth in Rocking Socks. By the end of year one, 100 youth will have received sport scholarships and participated in health checks. We will track the number of scholarships delivered and the number of youth participating in the health checks via a roster sheet.”
One of the most important items you can create in the design process of writing a grant is a timeline. This will include all your activities, who the person is responsible to lead the activity and start and end dates. For a downloadable template, go to
Once you have identified your goals, objectives and outcomes, you have put together the backdrop of the puzzle. Of course, you need to look at the budget to make sure that your objectives will really be achievable, which will be covered in the next article.
— This piece is the second in a three-part series. Stay tuned to the next issue of Guam Business Magazine for “Budget and Project Design.” For more information, visit www.wegogrants.com and check out Rustick’s book, “Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant” or her “Grant Writing & Funding Podcast.”