Lineup Quiz

  • Streamlining is about more than moving processes online.It’s about making sure that your processes are aligned with your values, and that both funders and nonprofits are using their time for meaningful work. Find out how you line up and where there’s still room for improvement.
  • Streamlined grantmakers align grantmaking practices with values. Most grantmakers believe wholeheartedly in the organizations they support and want to lift them up.

    Unfortunately, application and reporting practices aren’t always consistent with values. A grantmaker may believe strongly in supporting nonprofit success, but its burdensome application process may drain resources from the sector by requiring organizations with little chance of receiving funding to spend valuable hours writing full proposals. A grantmaker may believe that it treasures and trusts its grantees, but its quarterly reporting requirements say otherwise. And while a grantmaker may have every intention of saving grantees time and money by putting its grantmaking system online, if it fails to user-test that system, it may in fact introduce more frustration and wasted time into the grantseeking experience.

  • Mailed hard copies of applications and reports—once common—are becoming a thing of the past. Most grantmakers and grantseekers are now online. Whether your setup is as simple as receiving emailed submissions or a complex online system tied to your grants management and evaluation software, be sure it works seamlessly for your grantseekers.
  • Recasting financial information to fit grantmaker-specific categories remains a huge burden to nonprofits. Your grantseekers have their own financial management systems. They have ways of categorizing their finances that make sense to their own operations. (If they don’t, that’s a capacity issue and should be addressed with capacity building funding and/or technical assistance). The amount of time that it takes to “slice and dice” or squish financial information into templates and new categories required by their funders adds up.

    Streamlined grantmakers permit nonprofits to use formats and financial categories that make sense to them and serve their needs.

  • Streamlined grantmakers minimize the number of organizations that do a lot of work when they have a small chance of success. They are aware of the proportion of proposals they are declining and work to keep it low. How do they do it?

    1. use clear funding guidelines and eligibility screens that reduce the number of unfitting requests submitted,
    2. talk with prospective applicants prior to submissions,
    3. filter with a letter of inquiry that is truly shorter and requires less work than a full proposal.
  • Streamlined grantmakers periodically review the information they use in their decision-making, assess the efficiency of their internal systems, and seek candid and anonymous feedback from grantees to improve their practices.