Unnecessary Reports

Flaw #6 from the Project Streamline report:

Despite funders’ stated desire to use reporting and evaluation for monitoring compliance and measuring impact, results from a 2004 study of funders’ attitudes and practices found that only about half of foundations surveyed used results strategically, either to influence future grantmaking or to share with the field. Our research came to the same conclusion: grantmakers indicated that they use most of what they collect primarily to monitor compliance.

“We assume that they feed everything to a giant fiery furnace.”
—Nonprofit Executive

I can imagine nothing more boring than requesting, organizing, recording and filing information that was of no use to me. That’s called busy work and it is the kind of work that is given to people who simply need to be kept out of trouble. If you are a program officer at a foundation and you are engaging in this kind of busy work; demand better. You are too smart to waste your time this way and your are wasting the time of smart people at nonprofits who have better things to do.