Grantmaking is an absolutely central element in the Australian economic system.
Not one dollar should be wasted on poorly designed, poorly articulated, poorly evaluated, or inefficient grants programs and systems. Grantmakers should maximise resources by sharing lessons, and seeking and learning from lessons shared by others.
Australia needs more and better professional grantmakers.
The job of grantmaking should be afforded appropriate professional status, training and recompense.
Grantmakers should listen to the communities they serve.
Grantmakers should be driven by outcomes, not process. They should trust and respect their grantees and offer programs, systems and processes appropriate to their needs and capacities.
Grantmakers should be efficient.
Wastage is indefensible. Skimping on systems, technology and professional staff is equally wicked.
Grantmakers should be ethical.
Grantmakers should ensure that the process of grantmaking is fair, unbiased, and transparent.
Our Community and SmartyGrants have for more than a decade been at the forefront of innovation in grantmaking in Australia.
We convene and coordinate a number of grantmaking affinity groups and events, push the envelope on data and innovation in grantmaking, and have developed a best practice online grants management system which is revolutionising grantmaking across the country - and internationally.
We are active in seeking and documenting best practice lessons and examples and are codifying and disseminating what we are learning through our website, our software, our speeches, and our publications.
In 2011, we released our internationally acclaimed Grantmaking Manifesto to lay down our values, principles and beliefs, based on all we have learned about grantmaking through our considerable work in this space, as well as our individual experiences as grantmakers and grantseekers. We use this document to guide us in our work to drive professionalisation of the sector.
The Grantmaking Lifecycle
Over the years, we've come to recognise that there is a distinct lifecycle that applies to almost all grants programs.
We've identified nine major lifecycle stages, most of which are divided into sub-stages, as shown below.
This lifecycle, which was developed in partnership with N-Carta Group, is reflected in the division of the Tools and Resources section of this website and the Health Check, and is becoming embedded in our software and training as well.