In just five years, Project Streamline has grown from an interesting idea to an industry-wide model of change. Among some medium-to-large foundations, streamlining has evolved from something grants professionals know they should do to something grants professionals have implemented and use as a primary benchmark. We are enthusiastic about the progress to date and delighted when funders and grantseekers share stories about their improved experiences, decreased costs, and increased efficiency at every level.
To capture these experiences and determine to what extent the field has streamlined, we are working on an assessment of the project’s impact so far. The result of the findings will codify the successes made to date and help us continue to raise awareness of the issues at hand. Most importantly, the assessment will create opportunities to identify the most promising methods to successful streamlining and then promote these practices throughout the industry. By continuing this collaboration with current partners and building connections to with a broader group of stakeholders, we can advocate for the basic principles and guidelines of Project Streamline to be included in all of the philanthropy sector’s curricula on grantmaking practices.
A research advisory group representing grantmakers of all types and grantseekers is guiding the design of the final assessment, which will address the following topics.
- Awareness: To what extent has Project Streamline―indeed, the concept of streamlining itself―penetrated the field?
- Action: To what extent have grantmakers taken action to streamline their application and reporting processes?
- Impact: What kind of difference has streamlining made to grantmakers and nonprofits?
This work will result in two deliverables:
- Taking Stock, a report exploring streamlining trends, successes, barriers, and perceptions. We will release this report in early 2013 and promote it widely throughout the field.
- Quantitative and qualitative discovery of top streamlining practices that are both replicable and scalable to identify the practices that deliver the greatest impact on reducing costs for grantmakers and grantseekers in the application and reporting process. These practices will constitute the keystones of Project Streamline and we will promote them to the field throughout 2013 to significantly amplify the impact of Project Streamline.
We need your help to complete our assessment. Consider the key benchmarks as they apply to your own streamlining efforts and commit to sharing your experiences with us by participating in assessment surveys and/or focus groups. We will share details about these efforts as they develop through our partner organizations and with our Project Streamline mailing list (sign up here).