Writing A Project Proposal Goal Statement

 Every project has a goal. But clearly stating that goal is one of the principle stumbling blocks for producers seeking funding according to Morrie Warshawski author of "Shaking The Money Tree: How To Get Grants and Donations for Film and Video". What is a goal statement? A goal statement clearly defines the purpose of a project - or its reason for being.

You have an idea for a media project and decide to pitch it to several funding sources. After a number of attempts you become desperate because no one seems to express a solid interest.

There are many reasons why a pitch for support may fail, but often it is the inability of the one making the request to clearly articulate the nature of the project.

Every project has a goal. But clearly stating that goal is one of the principle stumbling blocks for producers seeking funding according to Morrie Warshawski author of "Shaking The Money Tree: How To Get Grants and Donations for Film and Video".

What is a goal statement? A goal statement clearly defines the purpose of a project - or its reason for being.

Examine these two example goal statements for a documentary film.

Example 1: The Celio Falls region of the Columbia River is interesting from an historical perspective and a documentary about its cultural significance will have wide audience appeal.

Example 2: This video documentary will explore the cultural traditions and values of Native American dip net fishing at the now submerged Celio Falls on the Columbia River. The project will include historical file footage before and after the construction of Bonneville Dam in the 1930's, interviews with tribal elders, and new on-location footage documenting the continuation of fishing traditions today. The target audience includes educational institutions, public television stations, cultural programming services and the Northwest tourist industry. The project will be completed within one year from the starting date.

The first example is quite general with few specifics. The second one is more clearly stated. It establishes a conceptual framework upon which the content will be developed. It also identifies the medium that will be used, target audiences, and a time line.

Here is a second example more related to an artistic work.

Example 1: "Rhythm and Blues" is a proposed Vancouver Art Museum film installation exploring the relationship between the moving image and original music.

Example 2: "Rhythm and Blues" is a proposed Vancouver Art Museum 16mm color film installation that explores the contrapuntal play between animated abstract patterns and an original blues composition by Portland artist Jay Waterman. The installation uses a self-contained projection system activated by a photo-electric cell that senses the approach of a gallery patron. The project is to be completed in time for the Vancouver Media Arts Festival, June, 2007.

It is again the second example which is more detailed and communicative as to the purpose of the project.

A goal statement is all about communicating information about your proposal. An effective statement:

1. Is best kept short and clear using 3-4 sentences.

2. Presents your idea in about 20-30 seconds.

3. Describes what you are going to do in an active voice.

4. Indicates the importance of the project.

5. Notes how the project is to be accomplished and within an estimated time frame.

A well-written goal statement is your marketing tool be it for the purpose of finding funding for an indie work, or pitching an idea within a company staff meeting. It demonstrates you have a clear idea of where you are taking a project and how you are going to get there provide support is available.

Not only do you need passion for a project, but you must also be able to communicate to others what it is that you want to do. So, take a couple of ideas and practice writing a goal statement for each. With practice you should be able to make your pitch within the time it takes for a short elevator ride with a potential funder, boss, or client.