Will the U.S. Senate streamline the grant process?

A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in July 2023 would help simplify the administration of grant programs across the federal government. The Streamlining Federal Grants Act of 2023 (S. 2286) builds on the Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency (GREAT) Act, enacted in 2019, which requires federal grant programs to streamline data standards for applications and reporting.

In particular, the new bill would assist governments and organizations in small and rural communities that often struggle with complicated application processes when applying for federal grants. Among other things, the legislation would lead to easier-to-understand notices of funding opportunities, updated software and systems for applying for and managing federal grants, and common data standards for data reporting. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

How a Charity Navigator partnership can promote impact data

Independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator recently announced it has joined forces with social impact registry Impact Genome. The registry allows nonprofits to report and independently verify their impact based on 132 standardized social outcomes. Donors are increasingly interested in where their donations go and what they actually accomplish, and this move is the latest in Charity Navigator’s efforts to shift the focus of its ratings from overhead to outcomes.

The partnership is intended to improve the quality and availability of nonprofit impact data so donors can make more informed giving decisions. Nonprofits will now be able to seamlessly report their results just once each year, making the reporting much less burdensome for organizations that frequently have limited resources. At the same time, donors will benefit from the use of consistent impact data in Charity Navigator’s ratings.

Study highlights nonprofit website flaws

While nonprofit websites have made significant progress in areas such as search engine optimization and web accessibility, a new report from fundraising firm RKD Group is raising the alarm on user experience. The firm analyzed the websites of more than 2,000 nonprofits using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tools and describes the results of its analysis as “quite shocking.”

According to the 2023 Nonprofit Website Performance Report, 80% of nonprofit websites were ranked “poor” in terms of their mobile performance, and 86% of nonprofit websites were found to “need improvement” in their desktop performance. Both the user experience and the page-loading speed for nonprofit sites lagged behind the performance of commercial websites. On the positive side, nonprofits fared better in scores that evaluate how up-to-date websites are when it comes to factors like script errors and cybersecurity measures. Overall, though, many nonprofit websites have room for improvement.

© 2023

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