Thursday, May 20, 2010

Distinguish Implementation Objectives from Outcome Objectives

Writing good objectives for your grant can be a challenge.   This post is about distinguishing between implementation objectives and outcome objectives. You can also check out Five Tips for Writing Good Grant Objectives.

Implementation objectives define your targets for implementing the program (e.g., Fifty program participants will be enrolled by June 30, 2010, as measured by intake records) and outcome objectives define your ultimate achievement targets (e.g., Forty students will complete the program each year, as measured by achievement of a passing score on the XYZ exam).

Think of it this way: the achievement of an implementation objective proves that you are implementing the program. The achievement of an outcome objective proves that the program works. While implementation objectives are good, outcome objectives guide the true measures of your effectiveness. Generally speaking, funding sources are most interested in your outcome objectives, and when an RFA refers to "Goals and Objectives," it is referring to goals and outcome objectives.
Implementation objectives can also be used, but only when you clearly distinguish them from outcome objectives. Occasionally, a funding source will specifically ask you to list your implementation objectives. In that case, of course, you should follow the directions and provide the requested information, but typically implementation information is provided in the design section of the proposal.

This is Tip 35 from 101 Tips for Aspiring Grant Writers.  Check out the book to see all 101 Tips!

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.