By Marie Palacios

If you haven’t visited the FREE STUFF tab on Funding For Good’s website, I encourage you to do so. For the next few weeks, my blogs are going to focus on the worksheet you will find under the “Grant Component Template” section titled Sample Grant Goals Spreadsheet.

In fact, we are going to tackle each content box on the sample goals spreadsheet. Whether you are a grant writing novice or a pro who enjoys a refresher…these blogs are for you!

Since the birth of my little girl eight months ago, almost all of my life goals have taken a back seat to a new and more pressing goal: I want to move past the “baby brain” exhaustion state and recover my energy and focus!  

That goal is broad, general, intangible, and abstract…but true to ‘grant writer good form’ it also describes the final outcome/impact I want to see in my personal life.

Now as we all know, in order to achieve goals, whether it be for a nonprofit or at the personal level, we have to break down the process and identify objectives.

Last night I established one of many objectives needed to achieve the broader goal: I want to improve my physical and mental health by sleeping more than 4 consecutive hours.

As any good grant writer knows. This objective outlines a specific step in my quest to overcome baby brain and re-join the world of the living! My objective is narrow, precise, tangible, concrete and can be measured.  

Now, this may sound quite simple, but when you factor in a 12 lb tiny human whose apparent life goal is to maintain 100% of her mom’s attention, that goal moves slightly further from reach!

Did my goal/objective meet S.M.A.R.T qualifications?

It is Specific- I am only asking for 4 hours of sleep!
It is Measurable- once again…4 tiny hours
It is Attainable- according to babycenter.com  most moms eventually get to sleep again
It is Realistic/Relevant- my little one is no longer a newborn and at 8 months should sleep more
It is Timely- Amen! It’s about time I get to sleep more than 4 hours in a stretch!

How many of you are familiar with the term BHAG?  

According to Wikipedia  “A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.”

My personal BHAG centers around my entire family consistently getting sleep a minimum of 8 hours or sleep/night so that we can wake up happy, energized, and ready to face each new day!

I am fully aware that this family “project” requires that well thought out objectives, creative strategies, realistic timelines, and buy in from each member of our household. Just because I am ready to make changes doesn’t mean the baby is on board!

Non-profits should consider each new project/program in the same light. Just because a grant opportunity appears and can provide the financial resources needed, that does not automatically mean that the organization has the capacity to successfully implement the project.

Before you rush to find resources, consider your goals, objectives, and timelines. Once those things are established the rest can follow.

A successful program design depends on each and every component of this spreadsheet we are exploring. Print it off and begin mapping out your program goals/objectives so before the grant cycle rolls around you will be ready to go!

Happy Writing! Funding For Good

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