Large organisations are winning small grants as well as big ones, pressure is building on local government grants budgets, and a huge amount of effort is being wasted on grant applications that are started and never finished.
They're just three of the findings from the latest Grants in Australia report (see bottom), part of a decade-long research project produced by Our Community's Innovation Lab that charts the field of grantmaking from the not-for-profit sector's perspective.
Picture: Yelloader, Peter Rosjberg via Flickr
More than 1200 individuals, all of whom were involved in applying for or receiving a grant in the previous 12 months, took part in the 2017 survey. Findings included:
Analysis of this year's results, as well as comparison with previous years' results, has produced a wealth of lessons for grantmakers and grantseekers. Both groups can download a tailored action list designed to translate survey insights into real-world actions.
Not-for-profits can also compare their grantseeking habits against their peers via a benchmarking tool that's also being released today.
"We try to make sure the research we do is not just interesting, but useful," said Our Community executive director and "chaos controller" Kathy Richardson.
"About $26 billion is distributed across Australia in grants each year by local councils, state and federal government agencies, philanthropic trusts, family foundations, community foundations and corporate foundations - a mass movement of money mainly to social causes.
"But good outcomes are not guaranteed. We want to play a part in ensuring that every precious grant dollar is used to produce the maximum benefit for Australian society. This study forms an important part of that aim."
The Grants in Australia study builds on a string of surveys conducted by Our Community since 2006. This year's data analysis was overseen by Our Community's data scientist Joost van der Linden, with subject matter expertise contributed by Our Community's Funding Centre, Australian Institute of Grants Management and SmartyGrants staff.
Leading grantmaker Jon King from the Community Broadcasting Foundation previewed the study, and was shocked to learn that 38% of grantseekers failed to meet grant deadlines. "What a waste of time. This is time you could have used for your cause, or to cold-call potential sponsors," he said.
The full report, as well as the benchmarking tool and actions lists for grantmakers and grantseekers, are available at www.ourcommunity.com.au/grants2017.
Want to improve your grantmaking? Then don't miss the June 2017 edition of Grants Management Intelligence.
The new Grants in Australia survey reveals plenty of things you can do right now to improve your grants process.
IN every survey we've ever done, grantseekers have said the most annoying thing about applications is a lack of, or poor, feedback from grantmakers.
At the Grantmaking in Australia 2017 conference, a hot-spot talk about core funding highlighted the lack of agreement about standards, or even what should be included in core costs.