One of the most pleasant moments in my Grant Writing Fundamentals course is when I cut through all the silliness associated with setting goals and objectives and provide the participants with a relevant and simple system for organizing their grant project in a manner that is appealing to the funders and relatively easy for you to supervise and manage. Goals are the easy part. Goals should be big, broad, vague dreams that motivate you, help you think big, and keep you inspired over the course of the year. "Every child will go to college," for example, is an illustration of a terrific goal.
On the other hand, objectives are the complete opposite of goals. Objectives need to be very specific and detailed, the more specific and detailed they are the better it is for you and your grant application. In the video below, you will see an illustration of the standards for writing objectives that has worked for me. It is based on the acronym SMART. This stands for S-specific, M-measurable, A-achievable, R-realistic and T-timed.
If you make sure that each of your SMART objectives contains each of the above features, then you will create realistic and persuasive objectives which will impress the funder. More significantly, such objectives will give you important management tools for implementing the grant later on. For example, you will be able to use these objectives to keep you and your staff accountable for implementing the promises you have made to the grant funder or to your other stakeholders.