Project Streamline Chairman Responds

Richard Toth, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and chairman of Project Streamline, comments on my recent posts:

Sean, thanks for reporting on this project. I am the Chair of the Project Streamline and I am particularly interested in what you and your readers have to say about our conclusions. I think your comparison to the investment industry is very relevant. Do foundations really need data in different formats or is it just ³the way it has always been done?² Is it possible that foundations like investors could all be given the exact same information but the decision making process will be determined by how foundations look at the data? Can you imagine if publically traded companies were required to rewrite their financials for each of their major funders? Or draft a different prospectus for each hedge fund? It seems absurd. Yet, essentially that is what non-profits are facing. The question Project Streamline is trying to address is how can we improve this process?