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Thirty Years Of Educational Innovations

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.585.1 - 3.585.4

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Paper Authors

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James Stice

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development Officer was particularly informative. As she was unfamiliar with my “problem”, she asked pertinent questions. Who is affected by this? Is this problem unique to Duke? If not, how are other institutions dealing with this? Is my solution unique? Would I get buy-in from the Duke community, from colleagues? Any opportunities for partnerships in my plan? She offered a useful suggestion to focus my thoughts. Compose a single sentence that captures your problem and provides the solution in simple English. Make this statement so clear that anyone could immediately grasp the situation.

Writing the Need/Problem Statement There are 3 basic parts to your need/problem statement: 1) describe the problem; 2) describe the underlying conditions creating this problem; 3) describe your solution(s). Base your need/problem on facts, hard data. For example, a 75% drop-out rate of minority engineering students; 25 computers for 150 students, etc. A demonstrated need is the rationale for the whole proposal -- so back it up. It provides the funder with an accurate assessment of a problem, and highlights your credibility. Tips: Be clear in what you want. Follow the directions provided by the funding agency. Write for the reader. Keep it as simple

Introduction The introduction describes your organization and boasts about its accomplishments. You want to convey a sense of competence and confidence about yourself and your ability to manage any funds you might receive. Establish credibility. Sell yourself and your organization; convince them you can deliver. Tips: Stay focused -- include what is most relevant to the grant, your expertise. Show competence/confidence -- even if you have never received a grant, or your organization has no experience in this area -- highlight individuals with the experience, expertise or enthusiasm to pull this off; describe successful projects. Describe who you are, how long you have been around; anything unique about your organization that is relevant to the grant; cite significant achievements, accomplishments and any other support/grants you have received.

Objectives Objectives should be specific and measurable. If your problem is a lack of computers, your objective is to get “x” number of computers; if your problem is a lack of minority engineering students, your objective is to retain “x” number of minority engineering students. It is easy to get confused in your objectives. Don’t describe HOW you are going to get those computers or those students; focus on the outcome and concrete measurement of success. A simple diagram can organize your thoughts. At the top of a piece of paper, place “Objectives”, “Activities” and “Measurement”:

Objectives Activities Measurement

For each objective, indicate an activity to achieve the objective, then the measurement tool to assess success. If your objective is to obtain more computers, an activity is contacting local businesses, the measurement is the number of computers obtained. One

Stice, J. (1998, June), Thirty Years Of Educational Innovations Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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