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Speed up your grantmaking

Hot on the heels of the Australian Institute of Grants Management (AIGM)'s Grantmaking in Australia Conference, this edition of Grants Management Intelligence aims to equip you with the latest thinking on quick response grants, a tool increasingly used by funders wanting a quick impact with minimum fuss.

Taste of the latest edition

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.

Among examples we've included are:

  • Regional Arts Australia, which is using quick turnaround techniques to send performers from the desert to the coast to play to sell-out crowds (among many other things);

  • the Queensland Government's online disaster response portal, which works to distribute emergency cash to victims, within as little as six hours;

  • the Moonee Valley Council's small grants program, which helps young athletes, small groups and others to thrive; and,

  • the Sidney Myer Fund, whose cash injection to a suburban breakdancing troupe L2R (pictured) helped both organisations reach out to a diverse and disadvantaged community.

We've also thought carefully about the risks and rewards of using quick response grants and have laid them out for you in this newsletter with the help of our thinker-in-residence Chris Borthwick.

You won't be surprised to learn that some of the featured grantmakers in this edition - including the Sidney Myer Fund/The Myer Foundation and Regional Arts Australia - are already using AIGM's online grants management system, SmartyGrants to manage their quick response grants with positive results..

Users should have received the latest SmartyNews, giving details about new features, user groups and training. SmartyGrants' newest features were also major talking points at our Grantmaking Conference in Melbourne earlier this month.

Delegates received some great insights from top-notch speakers, including US-based data scientist Andrew Means, who explained how grantmakers could gather and employ data to measure and improve funding outcomes. Everyone who attended should have been sent a link to access to presentation notes (let us know if you missed out).

If you missed the conference, not to worry: in coming months we'll use Grants Management Intelligence and the AIGM site to publish more about the major discussions and trends uncovered during the event. In fact, our next edition is already forming around the concept of "collaboration". Let us know if you have any thoughts/case studies to contribute on that theme.

Aside from this newsletter, the best way to stay updated on our work is to keep an eye on our website - and follow us on Twitter @AIGM_News. Or to get in touch and suggest topics for future editions, please email our new journalist Matthew Schulz:

Councils leading the way in open data

Four local councils around Australia have been working with SmartyGrants to open up their data. Learn more about the open data pilot project.

Disrupting distributing: Grantmaking in the AI era

Thinker in Residence Chris Borthwick considers the possibilities for artificial intelligence in grantmaking, and suggests that big data has changed the game.

Give grantseekers the tools to help you

One of the best things funders can do to help grant recipients, and themselves, is to buy better software to help them better monitor outcomes.

How Vital Signs is sparking new life in communities

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