Project Streamline: Practices That Matter

by Jessica Bearman

May 17, 2013
Project Streamline has a simple premise: that the cumulative impact of grantmakers' distinct and often laborious application and reporting requirements undermines nonprofit effectiveness, causing grantseekers to devote too much time to seeking funding (often without payoff) and reporting on grants (often without benefit) to the detriment of their mission-based work. The streamlining effort has a correspondingly straightforward goal: to help grantmakers understand and reduce the burden of application and reporting on their nonprofit partners, while still getting the information they need to make good grantmaking decisions. Five years after the research that resulted in Project Streamline's initial report, "Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose," and subsequent tools, assessments, and workshops, the leaders and partners of the initiative decided to take stock of progress. They wanted to find out whether the core principles and concrete practices essential to streamlined application and reporting had gained traction in the field of philanthropy. They needed to know more about which application and reporting practices made the biggest difference to nonprofit organizations and grantmakers. And they wanted to chart a path forward with recommendations for where Project Streamline should focus its energies going forward
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