Streamlining Grants Management
Project Streamline is an ongoing initiative housed at the Grants Managers Network. Originally formed by representatives of various philanthropic industry groups (which now serve as advisory committee members – see list of organizations below), Project Streamline is taking a hard and close look at both costs and opportunities in grant application and reporting processes. The initiative aims to raise awareness among grantmakers about the impact of different requirements and processes on the nonprofits they fund, and to ultimately reduce the costs of grants administration for both grantmakers and grantseekers.
PhilanTech wholly supports this effort. In fact, PhilanTrack was designed specifically to address the inefficiencies in the grant management process. We also strive to provide grantmakers the information they need to make good decisions and evaluate the social impact of their grantmaking.
The Center for Effective Philanthropy conducted a study a few years ago that determined that, on average, 13% of every foundation grant dollar in the U.S. is spent on grants administration. With $42.9 billion in grants awarded in 2009 (down from $46.8 billion in 2008)(1), that’s over $5 billion dollars spent on grants administration that could have been spent providing needed programs and services, particularly during a time of increased need.
PhilanTech applauds efforts to streamline grants management, and will continue to post about resources available to both grantmakers and grantseekers – through Project Streamline and elsewhere – to reduce the transaction costs of grants administration to help more grant dollars and resources go to programs and services.
Project Streamline Advisory Committee Member Organizations:
Association of Small Foundations
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Council on Foundations
Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
National Council of Nonprofits
(1) Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates, 2010. Foundation Center. New York 2010. http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/fgge10.pdf