smart objectives nonprofit grant writing

5 examples of SMART objectives for nonprofits

Once you have a grasp on the the acronym SMART and how it relates to developing strong objectives, it’s time to put that knowledge to work. Often, it helps to have concrete examples to draw from. Here are five examples of SMART objectives for nonprofits that using the SMART criteria effectively.


Example 1

By June 2014, serve 10,000 meals after school to fourth graders in the service area.


Notice how we’ve attached specific criteria and attached a timeline to the eventual target of serving 10,000 meals.


Example 2

By the end of the first year, at least 50% of children in the program will see their test scores improve by at least one letter grade.


In this example, we’ve used “at least” to set a floor for the target it’s always a good idea to make room for exceeding your objectives.


Example 3

At the program’s completion, at least 70% of participants will report gaining an understanding of how to save money each month as measured by pre- and post- surveys.


Here we’ve listed how exactly we’re going to measure whether the objective was met. This isn’t always necessary if you have a separate section in your grant on measuring your objectives. But, it can help clarify your activities a bit.


Example 4

By the end of year two of the project, organization staff will have delivered STI-prevention curricula to 75 percent of school districts.


Again, adding a time frame for the completion of the work is critical. And, be sure to check that the objective aligns with your narrative in terms of delivery timeline.


Example 5

Within five years, the proposed intervention will reduce pedestrian deaths in the service area by 40 percent, according to police and hospital data.


Hopefully these examples of SMART objectives for nonprofits give you a better understanding of how to write strong objectives that also fit the SMART criteria  it’s actually pretty simple.


Still have questions or need help with your objectives? Feel free to contact us for more help.


Learn more about our grant writing services here.


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  • Avatar for Ailema Eastone

    Ailema Eastone

    31.03.2018 at 05:37 Reply

    I would like to also have a comparative samples of an objective and goal .Can the smart principle be used on both?

    • Avatar for PGWAdmin


      02.04.2018 at 09:06 Reply

      Hi Ailema,

      Thanks for the comment, and good question! The SMART principle is not used for goals, which are much broader and far-reaching. Here’s a good breakdown of the difference.

      One example of a goal might be: To end poverty in the Three Rivers region.

      Hope that helps!

  • Avatar for Vallary Roeum

    Vallary Roeum

    08.05.2020 at 18:31 Reply

    What are some ways to check if your SMART objective has been met?

  • Avatar for Lori Davidson

    Lori Davidson

    19.03.2022 at 07:15 Reply

    Great info -Thanks

  • Avatar for Laryssa Wilson

    Laryssa Wilson

    14.08.2022 at 05:31 Reply

    Thanks ! This is Great!

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