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Respond to each peer initial post with 3-4 sentences long
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.”
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.