We at PhilanTech are fans of Project Streamline (as readers of this blog may have discerned). Project Streamline is very much aligned what we’re committed to: helping to streamline the grants administration process. While we’re approaching streamlining by creating online grants management tools to help both grant makers and grant seekers, Project Streamline is developing principles, spreading knowledge, and developing, with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) – a grantmaker assessment tool.
This assessment tool, a series of questions to which grantmakers can respond online, asks a series of questions that start to identify streamlining opportunities consistent with Project Streamline’s principles. For example, grantmakers are asked if they require grant applicants to submit the same information regardless of the size of the grant. (One of the core streamlining principles is right sizing applications to match the amount of information request from grantees – which is a rough proxy for the amount of effort required to create an application – with the size of the grant.
CEP then provides an assessment, and is also aggregating the results from the foundations that go through the process.
The early results are both discouraging and encouraging. Amber Bradley, writing on CEP’s blog, notes that most foundations that have responded so far do not think there are opportunities to streamline their processes. Yet, she notes, most of those same respondents also indicated that they require their grantees and applicants to submit information that is publicly available.
The opportunities to streamline are significant, and many of them don’t require major changes.
If you're a grantmaker, please consider going through the grantmaker assessment tool for your organization.
We look forward to seeing more results from CEP, Project Streamline, and the Grantmaker Assessment Tool. And if you’d like to learn about how PhilanTech can help your organization streamline, please contact us.
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