There are many reasons to ensure that the overall goal of a grant proposal be outlined with S. M. A. R. T. objectives, according to Browning (2012). This acronym defines the content of the objectives of a dramatic and worthwhile goal, as: S – specific; M – measurable; A – attainable; R – realistic; and T – timebound. Browning (2012) provides a brief exercise about how to distinguish between the three different types of objectives – smart, process, and impact – when defining the goal. The most important reason to outline the goal, is to ensure its components are defined (which, will match the mission and vision). And, Ward (2010) illustrates varying review styles utilized by funders (especially, committees and tiers – where proposals are disqualified, early in the selection process).
Kachinske (2009) provides the following goal: “By the year of 2022, the dropout rate will have reduced from [5.9% to 3.0%]” (p. 160). Although the ultimate purpose of your grant proposal will be to persuade those who receive them to support [you], a good grant proposal should … involve explanation, description, and preservation of an organized expository text (Kachinske, 2009). The stated goal provides a means for clear, measurable, and reasonable, and attainable objectives to express the expected improvement in quantitative terms. This concept leads in to the grant proposal, I felt was lacking.
The goal of this grant proposal is to promote awareness of DMST through a school-based prevention program where junior and high school students can be informed about the signs and risks of trafficking and ways in which help can be provided. DMST, according to Hlavnicka (2017), is Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST). The issue, itself, represents a true societal ill; but, its presentation (here) does not provide a means or measurement to address how the ill (presented as, uninformed junior and high school students …) can be measured, preserved or how awareness will lessen the occurrence of such. My question would be related to the community or surrounding area: Has there been an upsurge in such occurrences, or reports of such? If so, what are the statistics. Is there curriculum or implementation of programming to address vulnerabilities of these students; or, will informing them of the danger of sex trafficking be sufficient? My research for this proposal would include statistics about the local community (or, surrounding areas); common trends, related to trafficking (for specific area); and information about related crimes (as, abductions, increased violence of any type, etc.). According to South University (2017), Hlavinka (2017) may miss substantial funding (or, be rejected) if the objectives do not effectively outline the goal – and, activities related to achieving such (Ward, 2010). This very prominent and devastating issue is a global challenge; and most institutions (especially, schools are informed of its dangers). At this point, impacting such an ill, with appropriate implementation, presented by Hlavinka (2017), would make a more compelling goal for the Western Youth Services (WYS) in Orange County, CA which is committed to advancing awareness, cultivating success and strengthening communities through integrated mental health services for children, youth and families (Hlavinka, 2017).
The objectives will include implementing a school-based prevention program, and describing how components of that program will impact DMST. Implementation of a school-based DMST prevention program in Orange County, CA, involving students who are targeted as most vulnerable, by WYS, will significantly reduce DMST, in the outlined area. According to the SPICED approach, outlined by Better Evaluation (n.d.), the S.P.I.C.E.D. tool can be used for thinking about how project objectives and indicators can be set in a participatory and inclusive way with local communities (pp. 5-6). SPICED: Subjective – Participatory – Interpreted and communicable – Cross-checked and compared – Empowering – Diverse and disaggregated, descriptions provide even more opportunity for research (including, quantitative and qualitative input from various key community stakeholders, at – schools, the youth services program, other nonprofits, businesses, NGOs, and governmental agencies). In addition, this will allow engagement for further measurement, process and impact.