Personally, based on my reading of the forums and interactions with people from the community I have no doubt that everyone is acting in good faith. However, I agree with @zooko it’s a question of balance and power.
If the foundation holds the power of this funding then it creates a very awkward situation if you are interested in building the ecosystem (for which a grant, as principal or seed funding, is critical) but are critical of the foundation, now but especially later on. That’s what we should architect for: that later on moment where ZCash becomes bigger than its builders.
It’s not sufficient to have a 2-2. We should also try to work toward preserving that balance of power between ECC and ZF. Being able to make-or-break new teams or projects is a powerful mantle that doesn’t need to be misused to create some imbalance. I’m trying to brainstorm a solution that streamlines the bureaucratic aspects as much as possible but it’s a challenge. The first idea that comes to mind is that ECC should be involved in that decision process but not allowed from applying (nor the foundation as the ZIP says).
And for the record, I don’t think ZF did a bad job with the current grant funding process but IMHO @tromer the situation is different since the foundation has been invested with much more power and influence. The checks and balances must work both way. Ideally with the least wasting of resources/time possible. I agree it’s not an easy problem.