ETEC 579 Purpose Statement Activity…

Before attempting to request funds through a grant you must have a clear and concise focus for the project you wish to implement. One of the best ways to clarify the purpose of your proposal is through the development of a purpose statement. This project is based on the works of the respected and very successful grant writer, Dr. Jerry Pattengale.

In our exercise, you will formulate a purpose statement that has three distinct elements. The elements provide answers to the questions what, how, and why and are labeled X, Y, and Z. This is a one sentence statement with the three components separated by the words by and because. Thus, the structure of the sentence is X by Y because Z.

All three elements must tie together with a clear connection. The X component tells what you wish to do to address the problem or need that is identified in the Z component. The Y component in the middle is where you describe how the solution will be made possible by grant funding. This component identifies the tangibles that will be acquired and implemented directly from grant funds. The need, described in Z must be supportable with quantifiable evidence. The funding agency may request to see the documented proof that substantiates your claims and you must be able to immediately provide the data.

Through this process, you are building a case. You must carefully orchestrate your wording so as to solidly establish a need, but not creating the impression that your situation is hopeless and the very survival of your organization is dependent on the grant. A balance must be achieved. Also, remember that grant proposals should be outcomes based with the ultimate goal being learner centered if your proposal is within the realm of education. This focus should be evident in your purpose statement.

Several people should evaluate a purpose statement to verify its clarity. This is the time to ask questions. If something isn’t clear to your peers, then it will likely be a point of confusion for the grant evaluators and it should be examined for possible improvement. This is a very nit-picky process and the use of every single word should be scrutinized. Keep an open mind and the result will likely be a much improved purpose statement and even more importantly, a more defined focus guiding your entire proposal.