What Should You Do to Streamline? We Have Ideas.

Project Streamline has always been a very practical effort focused on a simple concept and a set of concrete changes that every grantmaker can make to reduce the burden of application and reporting.

There’s no one right way to streamline. Over the last five years, we’ve been aware that there’s no one streamlining package that works for every grantmaker, so we’ve been careful not to sound too prescriptive.  Once a funder is in the streamlining mindset – especially if they are seeking and receiving input from grantees – all sorts of opportunities for streamlining present themselves.

On the other hand, many funders have wished aloud that we’d be a bit more directive.  “Just tell us what to do!” say some.  Others comment that a list of specific best practices would be useful ammunition when trying to convince their boards to make a shift.

Here’s the good news:  Project Streamline does have a set of recommended good practices, both in our most recent report, Practices that Matter, and in our Guide to Streamlining Series.  The guides focus on aspects of grantmaker practice that grantseekers find most burdensome and grantmakers find most challenging to change.  We’ll be revisiting each one of these suggestion-packed guides over the next two months. In addition to pulling out the key content for your easy access, we’ll also be inviting your contributions: stories about changes you’ve made, samples of guidelines or documents, and templates.

So yes!  We do have ideas about how you can streamline – stay tuned!

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.