Project Activities as Objectives: Lay the Plan for Implementing Impact
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Posted by: Lisa Sihvonen-Binder, MS NMP
We all know that funders are interested in the impact your project will have on the population to be served. They also want to know what you’re planning to do to achieve that impact. Here’s where as a grant writer we need to be sure we are clear in defining our process, or implementation, objectives.
To start, we’ll look at the difference between an impact and process objective. Let’s say your project goal is to improve the health and well-being of women who are at high-risk of developing breast cancer. Perhaps your anticipated outcome (impact) objective is that 70% of 50 women participating in your project will have a greater understanding of how diet and exercise can lower their risk of developing breast cancer by the end of your project. These points tell the funder what you are working toward; now we need to tell them how you plan to achieve them.
A process objective is essentially the project activity(ies). But it needs to be more than just a brief statement—it should include enough details so the funder understands what you will do. For example, just writing “We will hold 5 workshops” can leave the funder wondering:
1) What will the workshops be about?;
2) Who will attend the workshops?;
3) When will the workshops be held?; and
4) Who will run the workshops?
Process objectives can be bulleted lists, short paragraphs, or (my favorite) explained in a table. I like the table format because it allows for a quick visual that covers multiple points we address throughout the proposal (e.g., time frame, personnel, budget expenses).
To hold 5 breast cancer education workshops once per month for five months for at least 50 at-risk women that include handouts, a PowerPoint presentation, and group discussion on how diet and exercise can lower the risk of developing breast cancer.
January 2020 – May 2020
Oshes Fantastic, Project Director
From the above, the funder sees the activity to be completed, when it will be done, and who will conduct it. This process objective gives them a clear idea of how you plan to increase the understanding of participants, as noted in your impact objective. As the funder looks at the budget for the project, they will (hopefully) see the items funding will support (e.g., handouts, creating a presentation, personnel) that were listed in the process objective. It has laid the plan for working toward your goal.
What strategies have you developed for ensuring your project description includes the process or implementation objectives that will help you achieve your impact objectives?
Author Bio: Lisa M. Sihvonen-Binder, MS NMP, is a nonprofit consultant, teacher, board member, and professional grant writer with over 13 years of experience in the grants profession.
Theme: Project Description & Implementation
GPCI Competency: 03: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development