Drowning in Paperwork: Distracted From Purpose

Drowning in Paperwork: Distracted From Purpose examined grantmakers application and reporting practices and their impact on grantmakers and grantseekers.  This report formed the basis for Project Streamline and continues to be used by grantmakers to better understand the flaws in the current system, barriers to change, and principles that grantmakers can adopt to improve their practices.

For a recorded powerpoint of the report highlights, click here.

Research Report

Guide to Streamlining

The Guide to Streamlining series is a set of tools and resources to help grantmakers apply Project Streamline’s four principles:
  1. Taking a fresh look at information requirements with a special focus on what due diligence grantmakers really need to do in order to make a grant.
  2. Rightsizing grant application and reporting requirements.
  3. Reducing the burden that grantseeking places on grantees with a special focus on improving financial reporting and implementing online systems.
  4. Improving communications and obtaining feedback from grantseekers to support and help direct your streamlining efforts.
Online Guide

Available Now

Online Applications and Reporting (Relieving the Burden)
Identifies the essential and “gold standard” features and practices of online systems to help your grantmaking organization select and implement—or retrofit—a system that is user-friendly and designed to help grantseekers succeed.

Grant Budgets and Financial Reporting (Relieving the Burden)
Many nonprofits find that specialized budget and financial reporting requirements are some of the most time-consuming and burdensome aspects of grantseeking. This guide can help your organization streamline its grant budget and financial reporting requirements in ways that benefit your organization and your grantees.  

Making Streamlining Stick
A guide to starting and developing buy-in for a streamlining process at your organization.

Right-Sizing Guide
When grantmaking is right-sized, the information and due diligence requirements are proportionate to the size of the grant, appropriate to the type of grant, and take into consideration prior relationships with grantees. This guide will help your organization think through the opportunities to right-size your own process.

Due Diligence Guide
This guide will help grantmakers think through what information is really needed to make a grant, and clear up some of the confusion surrounding what materials are truly “required.”


Partner Publications


Due Diligence Done Well: A Guide for Grantmakers, written by La Piana Consulting for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, is a practical guide for the process of gathering information about prospective grantees and an orientation to thinking about effective due diligence, and an online tool for grantmakers accompanies this new version.