Monthly Archives: May 2013

Practices That Matter – Project Streamline Takes Stock of Streamlining

The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers is a national partner for Project Streamline.

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Project Streamline has a simple premise: that the cumulative impact of the philanthropic sector’s 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.

Five years ago, Project Streamline – a field-wide effort led by the Grants Managers Network – published “Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted From Purpose,” a study of the burdens of application and reporting.

Since then, the effort has developed resources to help grantmakers understand this burden and take steps to reduce it. Project Streamline produced practical tools, convened conversations, offered workshops and webinars, and released a self-assessment instrument, developed in partnership with the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Many grantmaking associations and other philanthropy support groups have promoted streamlining concepts and principles.
Has it worked? Well, it depends on who you ask. Continue reading

Partnering for Impact

partnering_for_impact_cover 115x150Regional associations of grantmakers can be natural and effective partners for national funders that wish to derive greater impact from their work in local areas. Regional associations have the ties that create strong local networks, the trust that creates local buy-in, and the knowledge about local issues, interests and culture. All of these things are absolutely vital for a national funder to incorporate if their work in local communities is to be successful.

But what should national funders and regional associations keep in mind when working together? How do different perspectives come into play, and how do they affect understanding, implementation and outcomes of joint projects?

Our colleagues at the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) and the Annie E. Casey Foundation are pleased to share Partnering for Impact: Combining National Knowledge with Regional Leverage for Local Impact, a new report for the field of philanthropy that attempts to answer some of these questions. Continue reading