Simplify & Streamline Paperwork


Nonprofit staff spend an inordinate amount of time on funder-driven paperwork; they will be more effective if they are freed up to concentrate on mission.


Steps You Can Take

  • Accept proposals and reports written for other funders

  • Before inviting a full proposal, use a screening process (such as a short LOI) that can help determine whether funding is likely

  • Consider taking a conversational approach to learning about grantees’ work, via phone calls or in-person meetings


The Difference It Will Make

  • Less time spent on paperwork, and more time for genuine learning and conversation with grantees

  • Allows for deeper, more interactive relationships with grantees


What It Looks Like

"Some people talk about [streamlined paperwork] as taking the burden off the grantees. But it’s not just that. If grantees have the money, the time, and the space for reflection—and they’re not spending an inordinate amount of time writing proposals—they actually have more breathing room to focus on achieving their mission."

- Nat Williams, Hill-Snowdon Foundation


But What About…

“How do you ensure accountability—and measure impact—with limited paperwork?”

When discussions around impact are housed within a relationship based on learning, this inherently builds greater accountability on both sides. By understanding a grantee’s self-defined measures of success, and engaging in dialogue about how these measures are evolving over time, you will actually have more substantive learnings than you would in a standard report.


From the Blog

“We find that phone conversations are much more interactive than written reports, and they give us an opportunity to keep building depth in our relationships with grantees.”

—Dimple Abichandani, General Service Foundation