How do you create a SMART, one-line project purpose?

Mark PetersenApplication Process

Applicants for funding often want to tell foundations everything that is great about their project. That’s normal! They’re enthused about what they do. But how do you narrow down your project purpose into a succinct yet descriptive sound bite? The secret is in being SMART! Communicate your project purpose by being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-defined.

We prefer the following format: “To + verb + project focus + location + timeframe.”

Below are five real-world examples of project summaries to model your responses after. Each one specifies what, where, how many/much, and when. And each of them is SMART. This really helps the funder know at a glance where funds are being deployed.

Model yours after these:

  • To establish and implement an ethics education program in 7 schools (1,940 students) in Erdenet, Mongolia by Dec 2024.
  • To hire, train, and mentor 20 high school interns for new youth programming with at-risk kids in the Glamorgan community in Scarborough ON by Dec 2024.
  • To convene 25 key delegates from at least 8 food aid organizations to share best practices at a weekend gathering in Vernon BC in spring 2025.
  • To renovate a 2,000 sq ft community centre to serve 500 new immigrants per year in Halifax NS by June 2025.
  • To train 1,000 farmers in business development for economic growth in the village of Shomma, Ethiopia by June 2025.