Take the Project Streamline Survey to Assess State of Grantmaking
Five years ago, with the support of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Project Streamline was created to change and enhance the grantmaking experience. The project is now asking grantee organizations to provide their opinion of how grantmaking has changed and what sorts of changes and methods have proved most effective.
In just five years, Project Streamline has grown from an interesting idea to an industry-wide model of change in the philanthropic sector. Among some medium-to-large foundations, streamlining – or making grant practices more efficient and straightforward – has evolved from something grants professionals know they should do to a hallmark of effective and responsible grantmaking.
Progress to date (PDF) has been quite promising, especially when funders and grantseekers share stories about their improved experiences, decreased costs, and increased efficiency that streamlined practices enable at every level.
Seeking Input from Grantseekers
AFP and other partners in Project Streamline are working on an assessment of the project’s impact so far. A critical part of this work includes getting both sides of the experience. The project has already asked grantmakers to report on their practices and improvements, but it’s essential that we hear from grantseekers about how efforts to create more effective practices have an impact on nonprofits’ experiences seeking and reporting on funds.
Project Streamline will use these findings to codify the successes made to date and help continue to raise awareness of the impact of application and reporting practices. Most importantly, the assessment will identify the most promising methods to successful streamlining and then promote these practices throughout the philanthropic sector.
A research advisory group representing both sides of the grant relationship is guiding the design of the final assessment, which will address the following topics.
- Awareness: To what extent has Project Streamline―indeed, the concept of streamlining itself―penetrated the field? Action: To what extent have grantseekers taken action to streamline their application and reporting processes?
- Impact: What kind of difference has streamlining made to grantmakers and nonprofits?
This work will result in two deliverables. First will be Taking Stock, a report exploring streamlining trends, successes, barriers, and perceptions. The report is expected in early 2013.
The second deliverable is the development of quantitative and qualitative discovery of top streamlining practices that deliver the greatest impact for grantmakers and grantseekers in the application and reporting process. These practices will constitute the keystones of Project Streamline and will be pr0moted to the field throughout 2013.
Your help is critical to completing the assessment and producing the top recommendations for more effective and efficient grantmaking. Make sure you’ve joined the Project Streamline mailing list to get updated when the assessment report is released.
For more information on this issue, the Project Streamline website has an entire listing of resources, research and documents related to enhancing the grantmaking and grantseeking process.