3 deceptively simple questions

Posted on February 17th, 2014

What will change?

How much will it change?

How will you know?

Each time one of our program officers meets with a grantseeker, the questions above WILL be asked.

Each time, the answer to these questions WILL be an import contributing factor to whether or not our board’s response to the grant proposal is a “YES” or a “NO.”

Let’s look at some sample answers to the questions above:

What will change?  30 middle and high school students will improve their reading scores.

How much will it change?   Each student will improve their score to at least their grade level

How will you know?  Each student will take a reading skills test before they start our program and every two months after that.

In the example above, the answer to the three questions was clear and measurable…they either helped 30 kids improve their reading skills or not…they got to grade level or they didn’t.

Let’s try another example:

What will change?  We will serve somewhere between 72 and 190 students and help them build their writing skills.

How much will it change?  We hope that they will go from being afraid of writing to loving it.

How will you know?  We will look at samples of their work.

Ok, this was an extreme example…but you get the point.

To be effective as a grantseeker, it’s important to consider the very specific change your project will bring about.  It’s hard stuff…it’s new to most people.  At the Dekko Foundation we’ve learned that a lot of things people don’t think can be measured really CAN! Our program officers can help you think it all through. You can talk with one of them before you apply (260-347-1278) or during the review of your proposal.

We once worked with a smart consultant who used the phrase, “If you can measure it…it’ll get done!” IT’S TRUE!  Each of us gets up in the morning and comes into work in the nonprofit sector because we want to make things better for the people we serve.  Measuring things is the number one (and probably only) way that this will happen.

That’s why we work so hard on it!

 

 

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