This resource outlines the menu of reporting options developed as an approach to reporting that was more flexible and clearer for grantees and provided more insights to program officers.
This resource is part of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.
Authors and their affiliation
Jay Locke and Megan Colnar - Economic Justice Program MEL Team, Open Society Foundations
Key features of the Grantee reporting menu
Not only is traditional donor reporting often burdensome to grantees, but it can also be unhelpful for donors themselves. In 2019, after collecting feedback from both Open Society Foundations staff and grantees, the MEL team within the Foundations’ Economic Justice Program set out to develop an approach to reporting that was more flexible and clearer for grantees and provided more insights to program officers.
The team decided to scrap its single reporting template and instead provide grantees with a “menu” of different reporting options, mapped according to the time/effort needed to do them and their potential learning outcomes. This resource outlines the menu of reporting options that grantees were given, including clear guidance at the outset so that grantees could make informed decisions about the reporting that would work best for them.
How have you used or intend on using this reporting resource?
The EJP MEL team piloted and then took forward this flexible reporting menu in 2019. The program found immediately that it improved several aspects of the reporting process, reducing work for grantees and building trust by making them part of the decision-making process. Donor colleagues noted that grantees selected reporting options that made the most sense for their work, and the resulting reports that EJP program officers received were in most cases more informative than traditional reports received in the past.
Why would you recommend it to other people?
Both grantees and donor program officers found this reporting menu as a positive step forward. This template could be used by donors seeking to take a similar approach in their work to improve relations with grantees and improve the reporting process for everyone.
Locke, J. & Colnar, M. (2019). Grantee reporting menu. Retrieved from https://www.betterevaluation.org/tools-resources/grantee-reporting-menu