Right Size Grant Requirements

Grantmakers should ensure that the net grant is worthwhile. This means that the effort that grantseekers are asked to expend to get the grant must be proportionate to the size of the grant, appropriate to the type of grant, and take into consideration any existing relationship with the grantee. To implement the right-size-grant approach, grantmakers might:

  • Develop a streamlined application and reporting form for small grants to ensure that grantseekers not expend more time and money on getting the grant than they receive in funding.
  • Ensure that reporting requirements are congruent with the grant, both in terms of timing and the information gathered. That is, grantees should not be asked to report on their use of funding before the funding period is complete and should be informed, up front, what they will be asked to convey.
  • Store appropriate grantee information so that repeat grantees can provide updates without resubmitting documents and information that they have previously submitted.


  • Click here for a summary of comments shared on-line and in Project Streamline conversations on this principle.
  • Are burdensome grantmaking practices simply a redistribution of resources among nonprofits?Sean Stannard-Stockton continues to examine the Project Streamline findings in his Tactical Philanthropy blog. His perspective—If 100 nonprofits spend $1,000 each to pursue a $100,000 grant, then the net grant would be $0. Nada. Nothing gained. In effect the grantmaker has just taken $1,000 away from the 99 nonprofits that failed to get the grant and delivered the money to the winning grantee. More here.
  • What does grocery shopping have to do with grant proposal requirements?The Tactical Philanthropy blog associates ‘right-sized’ grant requirements with the same logic that affects consumer purchase decisions. Would you spend the same amount of time buying a car as you do a tube of toothpaste? More here.


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


Project Streamline’s ultimate goal is to reduce the burden of grant application, monitoring, and reporting practices on both grantmakers and grantseekers. The Guide to Streamlining: Right-Sizing the Grantmaking Process guide will help your organization assess and implement right-sizing opportunities.