Since we are dealing with the proposal sections in the order they appear in a proposal, let's talk about the next main section of a plan ... the Objectives section! Remember the six parts of a proposal:
An Objective is a statement of a specific outcome related to a problem you identified. An objective is NOT a statement of what you are going to do! It is a measurable statement of what you will end up with. For example, if you want 100% of the potential clients in your region to be able to access the specified service, your objective should read:
At the end of the 2001-02 fiscal year, 100% of the potential clients in Region XX will be able to access the specified service through a program enacted by the Region XX Agency Service Program staff.An ideal objective statement will address five basic questions:
You now may ask, "What if the problem is enormous?" Then "Swiss Cheese" it! In other words, nibble away at the problem in little bits that you CAN do something about. So, consider the problem that there are 50,000 potential clients in Region XX who have no specified service information. If your objective is that all 50,000 can access the specified service following completion of your agency service program, you will surely fail. But, what if you decided to tackle only the 5,000 (10%) you know would be more amenable to your program? You would be assured of success!!! A better objective, therefore is: At the end of the 1998-99 fiscal year 10% of the potential clients in Region XX will be able to access the specified service through a program enacted by the Region XX Agency Service Program staff. Then in another year, "bite off" another chunk of the problem!
To Recap . . .
Objectives should derive logically from your Statement of the Problem and should be tied to your agency's Mission. Objectives should be outcome driven -- telling what you'll end up with. They should answer five questions:
An Objective is a specific outcome that should result from the project. It is measurable and related to the problem statement. A good objective is one that answers the basic questions related to "who," "what," "how," "when," and "to what extent." The number of objectives in a proposal is determined by need and how much your agency can legitimately handle. We will cover the Evaluation section after we talk about the Methodology.