Make Communications and Grantmaking Processes Clear and Straightforward

To do this, grantmakers might:

  • Seek feedback from grantees and applicants, preferably via a third-party evaluator or other “safe” method.
  • Conduct a business process review and objective audit of what information your organization actually uses to make decisions, how the information is used, where redundancies exist, and where processes can be streamlined or better aligned to increase efficiency for the grantmaker and grantseeker.
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with grantees. Make sure that web and print materials are accurate and up-to-date, reflect the current priorities of the organization, and are easy to access and interpret.

Talk

  • Click here for a summary of comments shared on-line and in Project Streamline conversations on this principle.
  • Is there a difference between fundraisers and salespeople?
    While fundraisers for a nonprofit often want to “sell” their organization, the Tactical Philanthropy blog believes that trust can still be created between foundations and their grantees, if foundations are selective in whom
    they trust. More here.

Think

Project Streamline will share stories, ideas, and examples of how grantmakers have successfully (and unsuccessfully) improved their grantmaking communications.

Act

Project Streamline’s ultimate goal is to reduce the burden of grant application, monitoring, and reporting practices on both grantmakers and grantseekers. It will be developing and sharing concrete ways that grantmakers can streamline their practices here.

  • Eliminate Jargon. In his series of essays for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Tony Proscio makes an argument for mercilessly cutting all jargon and buzz-words out of a foundation’s internal and external documents in an effort to make philanthropy stronger. Click here to read a summary of his recommendations and access tools to help your communications become jargon-free.