Jessica Bearman explores:

  •  “What do you do with the reports that you receive?” — I often get sheepish grins in response. As one grantmaker told me, “In theory, I’d be using them to know more about our grantmaking effectiveness. But in reality, I don’t have any time to sit down and be thoughtful about the reports. That pile just sits there making me feel guilty.”
  • Everything that a funder requires needs a clear and articulated purpose, and reporting is no exception. It’s imperative to first get specific about how you’ll use reports. Many funders have combined final reports with requests for renewal funding to reduce the burden on all concerned.
  • Past research from Project Streamline and others has noted that only about half of funders said they used reports for internal decision-making purposes, and only 27% used them to share information with the rest of the field. It seems irresponsible to require a report and then do nothing but check off a box with it. According to CEP’s Working Well With Grantees guide, half of nonprofits surveyed had spent more than 15 hours on reporting requirements.
  • Ask yourself: why are we requiring this report? One of the most dispiriting things I hear from funders is some variation of, “The report is the price nonprofits pay for getting our money.” But no. The report is not the arm and leg that a grantee owes you for having received a grant. The grant was an investment you made in the mission-based work.

Source: Grantcraft 2015