Project Streamline Launches Phase III
Project Streamline is structured in these three phases:
Phase III, now underway, focuses on field-wide adoption of the principles, organizing its activities to walk grantmakers through the steps of adoption from awareness to active planning to measurable change. To support this, Project Streamline will take three steps:
- Continue to raise awareness about Project Streamline’s findings and solutions with grantmakers and grantseekers through convenings, reports, newsletters, web discussions, and other mediums.
- Deliver tools and resources to interested grantmakers that move them from awareness of the need for streamlining to the development of concrete plans to streamline, including:
A Guide to Streamlining: The Guide to Streamlining will incorporate the final principles, workgroup products, and content from the pilot training program and serve as a product that grantmakers can use to direct their streamlining efforts. It will also include a section on the ways grantseekers can support streamlining.The Guide is expected to be released in mid-2009.
Trainings for Grantmakers: Project Streamline, through its partner organizations, will offer one-day workshops designed to help grantmakers streamline their application and reporting practices. Through these trainings, grantmakers will: a) Explore the ways current systems of application and reporting may place unnecessary burdens on nonprofit partners; b) Surface and check assumptions about the kinds of information necessary for effective and responsible grantmaking; c) Identify cultural barriers to streamlining and their drivers and discuss ways that they might be overcome; d) Share stories and lessons-learned about efforts to streamline grantmaking practices; and e) Create action plans for making concrete changes to application and reporting practices.
A pilot training will take place in April 2009 with Philanthropy Northwest. Based on feedback, the training will be finalized and replicated across the country, with a target of reaching at least 280 grantmakers by 2011. Project Streamline will track the progress of these grantmakers to determine what changes actually occur and the impact streamlining has on their organizations and grantseekers.
A Grantmaker Assessment Tool: In partnership with Center for Effective Philanthropy, Project Streamline will launch a simple, on-line assessment tool that allows grantmakers to assess their current practices against the flaws identified in Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose. It will provide data and a report that grantmakers can use to advocate internally for change and allow them to track their progress over time. The tool will also generate summary data, such as estimated administrative costs, that Project Streamline can track to monitor change in grantmaker practice. This product will be released in late 2009/early 2010.
- Measure the change that has occurred in the field since the initial research for the Drowning in Paperwork report was conducted by returning to the sources of that research and incorporating findings from the training programs and assessment tool. This will result in a final report on Project Streamline’s impact on the field.
However, this won’t be the end of efforts to streamline. Beginning in 2011, Project Streamline’s eight partners will begin institutionalizing the Project Streamline principles, tools, and resources within their organizations and broader philanthropic culture to ensure that project success continues long after it ceases as a distinct effort.
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