States contract with nonprofits for human services ranging from after-school programs to job training. Yet contracting procedures often don’t meet the needs of government, the service providers or the public. With Wallace support, the Chicago-based Donors Forum, representing grantmakers and nonprofits, led an effort to change this public policy picture in Illinois. The result – six principles for contracting, covering everything from effectiveness of services to timeliness of reimbursement – may offer guidance for other states, too.