Add your voice to improving grant making and seeking
I spent an hour yesterday in a lively phone conversation with the drafters of “Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose” a report on the challenges and opportunities in improving grant application and reporting. The call was hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals which is one of the partner organizations participating in Project Streamline, a collaborative initiative of the Grants Managers Network.
Though I’ve already referenced this effort in an earlier posting, I wanted to remind you to go the the website of Project Streamline, download a copy of the report and its recommendations, and add your feedback to the discussion.
Some of the things we talked about on our conference call:
The need to rightsize the application process to the amount of the grant.
The need to focus proposal writing on the right stuff, (program and results), and not take up time with excessive paperwork.
The need for better online application processes (ones where you can save your document, copy and paste, print out versions to check, etc).
The need for open source final reports so that our colleagues can learn from our experiences (rather than reports locked in a file cabinet that no one pays attention to).
The report is a good read. It may confirm all of your frustrations. If a fair amount of your revenues come through private foundation grants, it’s well worth your involvement, especially if you have recommended solutions to the problems addressed.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of grants and contracts which nonprofits receive come through the government … which isn’t a beneficiary of this study. But the project sponsors were urged to share the report with government grantmakers anyway as they may benefit from its recommendations.