Complicated. Frustrating. Confusing. That is how many describe the grant management process – and as a result, they have developed bad grant management habits. Founded in 2007, eight organizations joined forces to leave those feelings behind. Appropriately named Project Streamline, the group is on a mission to improve grant application and reporting.
Project Streamline strives to make the job of a grant maker and grant seeker easier. The group built a philosophy on four core principles:
- Start Fresh – Use an objective perspective to clearly explain the purpose of your grant and how you meet the requirements.
- Right-size Grant Expectations – Match your expectations with the desired grant and understand the relationship with the grantee.
- Relieve the Burden – Take advantage of the tools that are available to you, so you can focus your time where it needs to be.
- Improve Communication – Make use of an objective evaluator to receive feedback from grantees and applicants.
Bad Grant Management Habits
Five years later, Project Streamline surveyed 460 grant makers and 300 grant seekers to detail how these principles are being put into action.
Sticking To Their Ways
Over 80 percent of grant makers are starting fresh and only asking for what is necessary for reviewing applications. However, there is no consensus on what information should be collected and the best use of that information. For example, grant seekers often submit an IRS letter of determination, when grant markers can validate tax status online.
Not Yet On The Same Page
55 percent of grant makers have made changes to match the requirements with the size of the requested grant. But 72 percent of grant seekers disagree. Grant seekers cite applications for small grants are never right-sized. This contributes to a waste of time and money.
Adjusting to Moving Offline Processes Online
A staggering 91 percent of grant makers have adapted to an online system for reporting and accepting email applications. The transition online has eliminated a need for multiple copies of applications or reports. Grant seekers see things differently. Many are still experiencing the same frustration from poorly designed online systems that enforce character limits and confusing forms.
Communication Is The Key
Grant seekers continued to gripe at online systems that serve as a barrier for direct communication. Grant makers are making the effort to simplify what types of groups they fund or don’t fund, which saves time. Moving forward, both sides must embrace open lines of communication.
If Not Now, When?
Grant makers admit streamlining is more important today than in 2007, but as Project Streamline uncovers they are still struggling to break bad grant management habits. Grant seekers and grant makers can conquer this disconnect by making use of tools available to them.
IT Works streamlines the process by providing flexible and simple solutions for grant makers and seekers. Avoid the pitfalls of grant administration, and contact an IT Works representative today.