Streamline Now! Making Streamlining Stick–The Streamlining Process


  1. (Noun)  a set of suggested changes that simplify grantmaking application and reporting practices.  The streamlining resulted in a process that saved everyone time and money!
  2. (Adjective)  describes a mindset of prioritizing efficiency, sensible practice, and feedback from stakeholders.  Our new Executive Director used to run a nonprofit, so she came in with a streamlining mentality. 
  3. (Verb) The act of examining current practices and determining changes to be made.  We’ve been streamlining for weeks now, and I think we’re making some progress!

2014-02-06 streamlining process

When 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 (yup… that’s why it’s always harder than expected). Luckily, “streamline” can also be a verb, and we have a process that you can use to walk your organization through the questions you’ll need to ask and the conversations you’ll need to have.

Many of Project Streamline’s other tools provide solutions to problems where answers exist.  For example, if you want to know more about what to look for in a nonprofit organization’s financial statements, Project Streamline has a top ten list in our Guide to Budgets and Financial Reporting.   If you want to know how to check an organization’s tax status, our Guide to Due Diligence provides some answers.

On the other hand, if you want to figure out how to get your organization thinking differently about its relationship to grantees and its role as a grantmaker—a shift often needed to make streamlining stick—there’s no single, simple answer… only a set of questions and conversations to have with stakeholders.

Project Streamline’s Making-Streamlining-Stick Guide can help you work through the changes in mindset, organizational culture, and behavior that streamlining requires.

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.

Download the Making Streamlining Stick Guide, and let us know more about your process!  Tell us your streamlining stories by leaving a comment below or emailing Dr. Streamline! 

Jessica Bearman

Jessica Bearman works with foundations and other mission-based organizations, focusing on organization development, facilitation, and R&D to help them become more intentional, effective, and responsive to the communities that they serve. She is also known as Dr. Streamline. Follow her on Twitter @jbearwoman.