Take a Fresh Look

Taking a fresh look at what information grantmakers need to make decisions is a critical component of streamlining. Grantmakers might:

  • Begin by asking themselves a set of questions about the information they plan to request of grantseekers: Are we really going to use this? Is there another way we can get it? Have we sufficiently explained to our grantees why we need it?
  • Separate basic due-diligence requirements (organizational documents and financial forms) from program and impact assessment and treat them differently. To what extent can due diligence be conducted by grantmaking staff? To what extent can due diligence be addressed after the grantmaker has made an initial partnership commitment?


What others are saying…

  • Read a summary of comments shared on-line and in Project Streamline conversations on this principle
  • An SEC for Nonprofits? 
    Tactical Philanthropy blogger Sean Stannard-Stockton proposes the creation of an information “exchange” that certifies that listed nonprofits had passed a minimum level of due diligence. More here.
  • Unnecessary Reports—The fiery furnace needs no more fuel. 
    Tactical Philanthropy blogger Sean Stannard-Stockton can’t understand why program officers at foundations stand for the busy work of asking for and then simply file unread reports from non-profits. More here.
  • Are Grantmakers Investors in or Customers of their Grantees?
    Investors in a business don’t ask the organization to bend and mold to what the investor wants. Investors compete to invest in organizations that they think are doing a great job already. Customers on the other hand ask organizations to do whatever they want. As a customer, you don’t care what the most cost efficient way for Starbucks to serve you a cup of coffee is. You want the best purchasing experience and best cup of coffee at the best price (and who cares if Starbucks is making or losing money as long as you get what you want). Which are you? Participate in the Tactical Philanthropy discussion. More here.


Project Streamline will share stories, ideas, and examples of how grantmakers have successfully (and unsuccessfully) Taken a Fresh Look.


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 the tax letter requirement.  Click here for more information.