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Grants Management Intelligence

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Insights for grantmakers

Grants Management Intelligence is Australia's first and best publication aimed at boosting the efficiency and effectiveness of grantmakers and funders.

With in-depth studies of grantmaking issues using our own experts and research, by speaking to the best in the field, and with exclusive access to SmartyGrants data, Grants Management Intelligence focuses on practical ways to improve your grants program to help you make best practice, standard practice.

From the basics to expert-level commentary, we've covered:

  • Grants round closing times and trends - including best days and times to close
  • Grants assessment panels - with data on assessment panel size, gender make-up, time taken and processes
  • Unsubmitted grants applications - including data on submissions and best practice recommendations
  • Preventative and Participatory grantmaking
  • Results from our annual Grants In Australia Survey
  • Big data and how you can use it properly

Grants Management Intelligence is must read material for federal, state and local grantmakers, funders and policymakers; local councillors and community development workers; philanthropic workers; grantmakers in the corporate world; and financial and legal advisors.

The quarterly publication is just one of the benefits of membership of the Australian Institute of Grants Management. Learn more and sign up here.

A taste of the latest edition

A taste of recent editions (tap to enlarge)

More about what's inside our latest editions

August 2018: The secrets of grants success

Any grantmaker will tell you that they'd love to know more about their grantseekers, who is winning, and why. We've summarised the key findings of our Grants in Australia research, and spoken to great thinkers including digital governance pioneer Lucy Bernholz and high-trust grantmaking leader Genevieve Timmons in this edition. 

April 2018: Inside the evaluation edition

Knowing whether your grantmaking really works matters to everyone: the funders, the recipients, the beneficiaries, the authorities, and your supporters. That's where evaluation comes in. While our last Grants in Australia survey reveals 60% of large not-for-profits say grantmakers are demanding increased outcomes measurement, reporting and evaluation, only 12% are winning funding for the purpose. Clearly, the grantmaking sector must respond.

November 2017: Community reports with clout

Prove it. That's the challenge that runs through every grant program.

When it comes to reporting, you as a grantmaker must prove that you have allocated money well, you must prove it has been properly spent, and you must decide where you'll spend money in future. It's a tough business, but community foundations - 36 locally based philanthropic groups distributing $21 million in grants each year in Australia - have shown us all a way forward. That way is called Vital Signs, and is a special focus for this edition. 

August 2017 edition: Lessons from the Grants in Australia 2017 research study.

In this issue of Grants Management Intelligence, we examine the results of our Grants in Australia 2017 study.

As you may know, the size of Australia's grants industry is astonishing. And we want to ensure that every grant dollar you allocate has the maximum benefit. We're here to help, and that's why this "survey says" edition brings you exclusive research, analysis, information about the impact on councils, and how to work with smaller groups.

June 2017 edition: What grantmakers must do now

Ahead of the Grants in Australia 2017 survey, we distilled the top ten actions grantmakers should take now. The recommendations we've included aren't easy fixes, but all point to significant grantmaking resources on the AIGM site. Appropriately, other topics in this edition further explore issues raised in that "to do" list. Each extend the "hot spot" discussions at our Grantmaking in Australia conference.

March 2017: Act fast with quick response grants

Hot on the heels of the Australian Institute of Grants Management (AIGM)'s Grantmaking in Australia Conference, this edition has latest thinking on quick response grants, a tool increasingly used by funders wanting a quick impact with minimum fuss. We've spoken to several grantmakers with wildly different goals, yet all aiming to use swifter payments to improve the results of their grants practice.

More editions: Still not sure? Click here for more detail about our past editions.

About our previous editions



Working with the Australian Women Donors Network, we spoke with  network chair Deanne Weir, Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, Australian of the Year David Morrison, and others about  gender-wise grantmaking.


August, 2016


Our special report into grants and the use of data. Inside:
- US expert Andrew Means' insights
- Data and the work of the US Robin Hood Foundation
- Our social change taxonomy project, CLASSIE.


Grants in Australia 2010 survey


Wisdom from from our 2016 Grantmaking in Australia Conference.
- Feedback and timelines
- Problems with applications
- Funding operational costs
- Highly political processes
- Grant program accessibility

MAY 2016
Grants in Australia 2009 survey


The latest findings explain the:
- Lack of feedback from grantmakers
Funding drop for multi-year grants
- The rise of online grants
- Briefing grantseekers


Grants in Australia 2007 survey


We're here to help with:
- Where to start when looking at your unsubmitted applications
- Expert tips, ideas and questions to ask about the issue.


Grants in Australia 2007 survey


Using SmartyGrants data, we examine best-practice assessment, covering:
- Benefits and drawbacks of options
- The gender split
- Timelines and processes

Grants in Australia survey 2006


Insights on "preventative grantmaking", answering:
- How do you know if a preventative approach is going to prevent anything?
- How do you measure the success of preventative grantmaking if the aim is to try and have something NOT occur?
JUNE 2015
Grants in Australia 2012 survey


Our 2015 conference was built around the theme of "Knowledge is Power", with presenters exploring the many way grantmakers can benefit - and can improve their efforts - by turning data and information into real, useful knowledge.

APRIL 2015
Grants in Australia 2012 survey


Options for funders considering participatory grantmaking, including:
- Collective giving and giving circles
- Advisory councils
- Community consultation
- Live grantmaking & contests
- Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

Grants in Australia 2012 survey


Facts, stats and more covers:
- When grantmakers close rounds
- Grantseekers' submission habits
- Our best practice benchmarks
- Late application policies
- What to do after closing your round



Grantmakers look to future at sold-out conference

The two-day ‘Prepare for Impact’ Grantmaking in Australia conference in Melbourne has sparked powerful and long-lasting insights for hundreds of leading grantmakers.

How to connect with under-represented communities

Understanding the importance of strategic planning, relationship building, cultural capability, targeted program design and targeted promotion.

Grantseekers rate their funder's performance

Each year, as part of the Grants in Australia research study we ask grantseekers to rate the performance of grantmakers in several areas. Here's what we found in the new study released this month.

High trust, low-doc: Is this the future of grantmaking?

In a world of grantmaking often spun around lengthy applications, mid-term evaluations, detailed budgets and extensive outcomes measurement, one renowned grantmaker is going against the grain to suggest grants would work better with less paperwork and more trust.