Are you confused by goals and objectives? How about methods? Some have shared with us that definitions can be confusing. We agree.
Marilynn Fauth, Coordinator at the PCNRC, demystified the differences between goals and objectives. In the process, methods came into the mix. Marilynn’s presentation was part of the latest 23@4 series, an informational hour about topics in the nonprofit sector and on the 23rd of every month (if it falls on a weekday) at 4 pm, ACPL, Main.
So, what is a goal? It is defined as long term aims. Objectives are concrete attainments. Simple, right?! It can be that easy. What becomes confusing and complex is that there is conflicting information (internet, books, etc.). Goals, objectives, and methods can be thought as a hierarchy, from big idea to small tangible step. What is most important is that you follow the instructions for grant proposals. If there is a definition or a specific way to write the goals and objectives, use that. If not, then use the general definitions above.
Below are the materials handed out during the session. The most helpful part of this 23@4 was an activity at the end – working in groups to write out objectives for a predetermined goal. This exercise helped to apply the definitions with like minded people.
Goals & Objectives (PowerPoint from the presentation)
To test your knowledge, what objectives would you write for the following goal? We will have a man on the moon and safely returned to earth in this decade. (President John F. Kennedy)