Guide to Streamlining

Project Streamline is pleased to announce that all six components of the Guide to Streamlining Series are now available. The Guide to Streamlining Series supplies the necessary tools to help grantmakers apply Project Streamline’s four principles:

  1. Taking a fresh look at information requirements with a special focus on what due diligence grantmakers really need to do in order to make a grant.
  2. Rightsizing grant application and reporting requirements.
  3. Reducing the burden that grantseeking places on grantees with a special focus on improving financial reporting and implementing online systems.
  4. Improving communications and obtaining feedback from grantseekers to support and help direct streamlining efforts.

Each of the Guide to Streamlining Series components listed below is available online free of charge.

Due Diligence Guide
Due diligence—the process by which a funder assesses an organization before deciding to invest—can cause anxiety for grantmakers and grantseekers alike. In part, this is because it’s poorly understood. This guide will help grantmakers think through what information is really needed to make a grant and clear up some of the confusion surrounding what materials are truly “required.”

Grant Budgets and Financial Reporting Guide
Grantseekers report that having to “slice and dice” their financial information is one of the most time and cost-intensive parts of grantseeking. The straightforward, technical advice of the Grant Budget and Financial Reporting Guide advises grantmaking organizations how to eliminate rigid templates, timelines that do not align with nonprofit project schedules, and excessive reporting requirements. This guide helps funders decrease financial reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations to the maximum extent possible, while still carrying out proper financial due diligence.

Making Streamlining Stick
While many components of the Guide to Streamlining Series provide technical solutions to technical problems,Making Streamlining Stick helps grantmakers work through the changes in mindset, organizational culture, and behavior that streamlining requires. These are complex issues that may have no ready-made answers. This guide illustrates the four basic phases of a streamlining effort and suggests activities and questions that can propel the process forward.

Online Applications and Reporting Guide

The Online Applications and Reporting Guide identifies both the essential and gold-standard features and practices of online systems to help grantmaking organizations implement a system that is user-friendly and designed to help grantseekers succeed. Focusing on the core values of making online grantmaking usable, clear, and comprehensive, this guide not only addresses the features and functions of the technology, but also non-technical best practices of grantmakers that make the systems successful.

Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Process
Right-sizing is the concept that one size might not fit all when it comes to application and reporting. When grantmaking is right-sized, the information requirements are proportionate to the size of the grant, appropriate to the type of grant, and take into consideration prior relationships with grantees. Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Processlays out the case for right-sizing and provides concrete recommendations to funders on how to right-size their requirements.

Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's communications and practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.