I analyzed two sample grants provided by Grants West. First was a sample grant for the Centerville Community Center and the second was a sample grant for the London Family Center.
I found the goals for the Centerville Community Center particularly compelling. First, the format of the grant followed a recommended format of a broad vision type statement for the goal followed immediately by specific objectives that would be used to achieve said goal (Orlich, 2002). In this case, the Centerville Community Center listed three interrelated goals 1) increase education about heart disease and identify at-risk individuals 2) provide activities that would decrease the risk of heart disease and 3) come alongside individuals to develop a healthy lifestyle plan (Grants West, n.d.). I was impressed by this goal listing because it followed a natural progression of assistance for the constituents from identification of those at risk, immediate risk management, and following through with prevention measures. The objectives that were listed with the goals were extraordinarily specific (Ward, 2010), leaving little doubt as to how any grant monies would be utilized. Centerville Community Center outlines activities such as walking and Tai Chi programs as an objective for Goal 2 while specifying that a staff person would service 350 adults over a two-year period to develop personal plans for avoiding heart disease and hypertension (Grants West, n.d.). If I am funding organization reviewing this application, I am completely confident in how funds will be deployed and can easily make a decision on whether to fund or not based on how these goals and objectives fit into my organization’s funding priorities.
I found two out of the three goals listed by the London Family Center to be compelling. The one I had the most concerns with was the Family Support Goal, which stated “London Family Center will support the social, emotional, mental health and physical well being of families by providing parenting resources and family support programs” (Grants West, 2009).
While objectives were also itemized underneath these goals (Orlich, 2002), the objectives were slightly vague, merely stating that families would receive case management services to connect them with basic needs. There were some details such as the frequency with which case managers would contact parents, but it would have been more compelling if there had been a listing of the specific agencies case managers would connect parents with. This type of listing would have added to the clarity of the objectives and goals (Ward, 2010). Again, putting myself in the shoes of a funder, I would want to know the types of resources that the case managers were utilizing. Are they partnering with organizations that are reputable and will help parents achieve independence or are they set up to foster enablement? Are they organizations that utilize their own resources efficiently or inefficiently?
With this in mind, I would rewrite the goal as follows:
“London Family Center will support the social, emotional, mental health and physical well being of families by providing case managers trained through [insert specific certification]. Case managers will achieve this by connecting these families with organizations such as the local foodbank, the American Red Cross, Planned Parenthood, and the local WIC office.”