What's the Distinction?
Goals are broad statements about what the program will accomplish or your mission(s) for the project. Outcomes are planned changes in the environment or people, and should be measurable. Objectives are the things that you'll plan to do in order to achieve outcomes, and must also be measurable. Other words you may encounter in describing goals, objectives, and outcomes include these:
Benchmarks: The places along the way that will mark your progress. Think of them as mini goals.
Activities: The specific steps you will take to achieve objectives in the grant.
Indicators: The measures you will use to determine whether you have met the objectives or outcomes of the grant.
Inputs (resources): The items you'll need to carry out the objectives or activities (such as surveys, money, staff time, volunteer time, etc.).
Outputs: Direct products from program activities (number of service units, number of participants, products developed, curricula developed, etc.).
Timeline: A schedule for completion of objectives/activities with assigned responsibilities.
In the last decade, “measurable outcomes” have taken the place of “goals and objectives” in many RFPs; however, others still ask for all three.