Donors Forum has published Streamlining Across the Divide: Illinois Grantmakers and Grantseekers Tackle Streamlining Together, the result of our Community of Practice on Streamlining.
Over the course of 2012, a group of grantmaking Members and nonprofit Partners focused on the impact of application and reporting practices on both funders and nonprofits, and explored ways to minimize the burden while maximizing the effectiveness of grantmaking.
Through candid conversations and exploration in a safe space, participants gained insight into the challenges faced by colleagues on both sides of the fundraising equation.
Here's the report in a snapshot:
- Illinois grantmakers have embraced the idea of streamlining and have made many changes to simplify their processes, including moving to online grantmaking systems.
- However, seeking grants remains a time-consuming and frustrating process for nonprofits. Inefficient online systems and complicated budget templates often take time away from mission-based work.
- Grantmakers often lack systems to get honest feedback from applicants and grantees.
- Grantmakers and grantseekers rarely know the cost (in time and resources) it takes to apply for grants or make grants.
- The Streamlining Community of Practice developed cost-audit tools for grantmakers and grantseekers. These simple tools map the specific cost centers associated with grantmaking and grantseeking, and help both types of organizations work toward greater efficiency and good decisions.
- Most importantly, this group of professionals demonstrated that honest and constructive conversations between funders and nonprofits are possible and essential for breaking down long-standing misunderstandings and promoting productive relationships.