13 SMART Goals Examples for Grant Proposals

Writing a successful grant proposal requires a great deal of planning and thought. Developing SMART goals can be incredibly helpful when writing your grant proposal.

With the proper dedication, you can create a successful proposal that receives approval and funding. Here, we’ll look at examples of SMART goals for grant proposals. You will receive a better understanding of how to write them effectively.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART system will enable you to establish practical goals for writing grant proposals. For those unaware, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Still confused? Let’s dive deeper into each SMART component:


When writing a grant proposal, specificity is the key to success. A vague proposal will not catch a donor’s or funder’s attention and will likely be passed over for a well-defined one. Ensure you identify exactly what you want to achieve with your project.

Is it increasing access to education in underprivileged communities? Or perhaps developing a new technology to aid those with disabilities? The more specific you are with your goals, the greater your chances of reaching them.


Crafting a winning proposal is more complex than putting pen to paper. One of the most crucial aspects of any grant proposal is to make your goals measurable.

This criterion fosters accountability by making it easier to determine whether you have achieved your desired outcomes. It also provides a way to measure progress toward those objectives, allowing you to alter course if necessary.


Everyone wants to aim high when it comes to setting goals. And while it’s great to dream big, try to be realistic about what you can achieve. Pursuing unrealistic goals may lead to frustration if they’re unsuccessful, ultimately demotivating you from pursuing your dreams.

That’s why you should consider your current abilities and resources when creating goals. Break down your larger aspirations into smaller steps to finally reach greatness.


Establishing meaningful goals aligning with your values will give you the necessary drive to meet your ideal results. When difficulties arise, your values will remain steadfast and provide you with a solid foundation as you persist onward.


A comprehensive time frame ensures that your milestones are being accomplished and always remain in sight. After all, success is never easy and requires consistent effort over time if you genuinely want lasting outcomes.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Grant Proposals

Here are 13 examples of SMART goals for writing grant proposals:

1. Research Funding Sources

“I plan to research and identify at least 5 potential funding sources for our next grant proposal by the end of 6 months. With this information, I can create a comprehensive list of potential sources and better explore our options.”

Specific: This is explicit because you have outlined a plan to identify 5 potential funding sources.

Measurable: Evaluate progress by keeping track of the number of potential funding sources identified.

Attainable: Identifying 5 potential funding sources in 6 months is realistic.

Relevant: This statement is appropriate because it will inform the writing of the following grant proposal.

Time-based: Completion of this goal is expected after 6 months.

2. Improve Writing Skills

“Over the 7 months ahead, I’ll have increased my writing skills to communicate effectively with various audiences. I want to enroll in a writing course, attend seminars, and actively participate in relevant online forums.”

Specific: The SMART goal is well-defined, detailing how it will be accomplished.

Measurable: Individuals can determine their progress by enrolling in a writing course, attending seminars, and participating in online forums.

Attainable: This goal is doable if you enroll in a course, attend seminars, and engage in online forums.

Relevant: This is relevant to communication because it allows individuals to improve their writing skills to communicate better with different audiences.

Time-based: There is a 7-month end date for reaching this particular goal.

3. Develop Proposal Framework

“I plan to develop a framework that outlines the process and techniques necessary to create successful grant proposals within 5 months. This framework will apply to all grant proposals and should ensure the highest chance for successful applications.”

Specific: You have a clear direction regarding what you’re creating, which is a framework for making successful grant proposals.

Measurable: You’ll evaluate the framework’s effectiveness by testing it with multiple grant proposals.

Attainable: As long as you put in consistent effort, you should be able to finish it in 5 months.

Relevant: The goal concerns your primary objective of creating successful grant proposals.

Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated after 5 whole months.

4. Draft Proposal Components

“I’ll develop comprehensive components for our grant proposals by the end of four months. The components should have an executive summary, our organization’s qualifications, the scope of services we offer, our budget, and potential areas of collaboration.”

Specific: The goal states the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and the time frame.

Measurable: You can check the number of components drafted and determine if they meet the requirements.

Attainable: The statement is feasible because it outlines the steps to reach a final product within four months.

Relevant: This is pertinent to developing comprehensive grant proposals.

Time-based: There is a four-month deadline for completing this certain goal.

5. Identify Budget Requirements

“I will create a budget outlining the costs associated with each project I plan to submit for grant funding within three months. This will ensure that all potential costs are identified and accounted for before applying for the grant.”

Specific: You know what you must do: create a budget outlining the project costs.

Measurable: The amount of budgeted money is known and can be determined over time.

Attainable: Creating a budget is within the individual’s capacity of skills and available resources.

Relevant: This SMART goal is appropriate for creating a budget to apply for grant funding.

Time-based: There is a three-month window to reach goal achievement.

6. Maintain Contact With Funders

“My aim is to establish and maintain contact with the funders who have already expressed interest in our project. I plan to reach out at least once a month to ensure we stay in touch and update them on progress.”

Specific: This goal states the aim (establish and maintain contact) and how often you’ll do it (at least once a month).

Measurable: You could track the number of connections you’ve made and if they respond.

Attainable: Reaching out to those who expressed interest should be absolutely doable.

Relevant: Maintaining contact and updating them will show how invested you are in your project.

Time-based: Consider this an ongoing effort; you’ll stay in contact once a month.

7. Ensure Quality Documentation

“I will ensure that all grant-related activities and projects are documented accurately and properly by the end of two months. That includes keeping detailed records of every step in the process, from initial concept to completion.”

Specific: This is specific because the person will document the grant-related activities and projects.

Measurable: Ensure that all the documentation is accurate and adequately done.

Attainable: This SMART goal can be achieved if the person takes the time to document all the activities and projects in detail.

Relevant: Promoting quality documentation is vital in any grant-related work.

Time-based: Two whole months are required to achieve success.

8. Adjust Proposal for Target Audience

“To gain more grant funding, I’ll adjust the organization’s grant proposal to fit the target audience within two months. I hope to research the potential funder’s mission, interests, and preferences to tailor the proposal accordingly.”

target audience

Specific: The statement is to tailor the organization’s grant proposal to fit the target audience.

Measurable: Ensure you can research the target audience’s mission, interests, and preferences.

Attainable: The provided timeline is enough for you to research the target audience and adjust the grant proposal accordingly.

Relevant: This is suitable because you need to tailor the grant proposal for more chances of success.

Time-based: There is a two-month end date for meeting this particular goal.

9. Review Regulations and Deadlines

“I’ll review relevant regulations and deadlines so that our grant proposal complies with all the requirements. Within three months, I want to ensure our proposal isn’t disadvantaged by any overlooked rules or late submissions.”

Specific: The individual is looking to review regulations and deadlines for grant proposals.

Measurable: You should make sure that the proposal meets all the requirements.

Attainable: This goal is achievable because they are taking steps to ensure all regulations are met.

Relevant: Submitting a grant proposal with all the necessary elements is essential.

Time-based: The goal is time-bound because it has an end date of three months.

10. Find Unique Selling Points

“Identifying and showcasing our unique selling points throughout the grant proposal will set us apart from other applicants and make our proposal more attractive to potential funders. I’ll research the competition to identify these points before submitting the grant proposal in four months.”

Specific: You have a task to identify and feature your unique selling points.

Measurable: Count how many unique selling points you have identified regularly.

Attainable: Assuming that you have the resources and skills, this is a reasonable goal.

Relevant: This task relates to the primary objective of making your grant proposal more attractive.

Time-based: You have a timeline of four months to accomplish success.

11. Update Proposal Materials

“I’ll update the grant proposal materials to include new research, analysis, and feedback from potential funders within two months. I will ensure our proposals are as accurate and compelling as possible when presented to potential funding sources.”

Specific: The goal is easy to understand, detailing the objective and how it will be reached.

Measurable: The materials will be updated according to research, analysis, and feedback from potential funders.

Attainable: This is realistic as it can be done by gathering new research and feedback from potential funders.

Relevant: This goal is crucial as it allows the organization to present accurate, compelling materials to potential funders.

Time-based: You have two months for goal achievement.

12. Seek Professional Advice

“I will obtain professional advice from an experienced grant writer within two months of beginning the proposal writing process to ensure accuracy and efficiency. I hope to come with a better understanding of the process and improved proposal structure to boost our chances of success.”

Specific: The aim is explicit because it states the intention to seek professional advice from an experienced grant writer.

Measurable: This could be measured by the individual’s understanding of the process and improvements to the structure.

Attainable: It is achievable to seek professional advice in a given timeline.

Relevant: The goal is to improve the grant proposal structure and increase the success rate.

Time-based: Two months are needed to achieve your desired goal.

13. Proofread Before Submission

“Before submitting a grant proposal, I want to proofread the document for grammar, spelling, or content errors. I aim to make sure the proposal is free of errors and mistakes before it is submitted to make a great first impression.”

Specific: The SMART goal clearly states the action that needs to be taken.

Measurable: You could use a checklist of items to check off during proofreading.

Attainable: This is possible because it is realistic to review a document for errors before submitting it.

Relevant: Proofreading ensures the proposal is error-free and makes a good impression on the grantor.

Time-based: The goal is reoccurring because you want to proofread every grant proposal.

Final Thoughts

Writing grant proposals is not an easy task. While it may seem daunting to create SMART goals for a successful submission, setting these goals and objectives can be an invaluable tool for anyone.

By planning out your project, you will increase your chances of obtaining the funding that you need. Embrace the challenge of writing SMART goals and objectives and make your proposal stand out.

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