Let’s start by asking a deceptively simple question: What are the major sticking points in the practice of philanthropy where we feel the strongest sparks of friction?

1. Deliver capacity-building services like an employee benefit:

Identify and provide a range of services that strengthen organizational skills and capacities similar to how employers deliver employee benefits. Grantees elect to buy a service and submit a receipt to be reimbursed – no grant required! They also submit a brief report (maybe even a few bullet points or sentences) on why it mattered or worked, or didn’t, to determine if it should be offered again.

2. Offer small grants to test new methods of approval and reporting: 

Experiment with simple, online methods of allocating small grants that reduce time spent, paperwork submitted and reporting required.

3. Formalize exit grants in ways that give grantees a sense of control:  

Be transparent about grant cycles from the start, and communicate clearly with grantees throughout the relationship. Jointly craft funding strategies that allow the grantee to plan for the transition and, when possible, fill the funding gap, leveraging access to consulting services or training that could help with the task.

4. Use technology and convening to share knowledge, create learning communities, and simplify reporting:  

A foundation and/or donor has convening capacity and technological resources that can be used to educate, network, advocate and inform.

Read the full article about reducing friction in philanthropy by Anne Marie Burgoyne and Andrea Levere at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.