Making Streamlining Stick: The Streamlining Process

Champions Toolkit HeaderWhen it comes right down to it, streamlining is more than just a set of changes.  It also requires a shift in mindset and a change in organizational culture (that’s why it’s always harder than expected).   Luckily, “streamline” can also be a verb, and there’s a process that you can use to walk your organization through the conversations you need to have.

Project Streamline’s Guide to Making-Streamlining-Stick can help you work through the changes in mindset, organizational culture, and behavior that streamlining requires—the complex issues that have no ready-made answers.

The Guide walks you through four primary stages of streamlining, with stories from funders who have been through the process, and specific tips to make your task easier.

Often, funders jump right into making changes without first understanding the impact of current practice.  The Guide emphasizes the first two stages of streamlining – Take Stock and Make the Case. Funders that invest time in those two phases make wise choices for what to change and make sure that important stakeholders are bought in.


Take Stock: Understand your current process, by mapping its steps, finding out how nonprofits experience it,  and getting input from colleagues.

Make the Case:  Show the need for change in a vivid manner and emphasize the ways that a streamlined process helps you achieve your mission better.  Be sure to give this step plenty of time!

Plan Changes: Figure out some easy wins and a realistic timeline for bigger changes.  Run small pilots to test ideas and see if they work.

Implement and Refine: Be sure that you communicate changes to everyone – including grantees! Put a good feedback loop in place so that you can continue getting input on how changes are working.