This year's Grants in Australia study is set to generate the most detailed insights into the state of grants since 2006, when Our Community first started keeping tabs on grants trends.
More than 2000 grantseekers this year responded to our Innovation Lab survey, the only one of its kind in Australia.
That's two-thirds more respondents than last year and we're grateful to all the not-for-profit groups who are helping create a better system with their views.
Significantly, the study has also been redesigned with the guidance of the Innovation Lab's data scientists, who have also revised assessment methods to better capture and distill lessons about:
This year is also the first that we asked the sector to nominate both compliments and criticisms about grantmakers, and our respondents didn't hold back, partly prompted by our promise to award the best comment with a 64GB Apple iPad Pro (RRP $979).
This year, the prize goes to Kimberley Community Legal Services CEO Chuck Berger, based in the remote north west of Western Australia.
It's no wonder, with this pithy salvo aimed at funders.
KCLS chief Chuck Berger.
Mr Berger's comes on top of his February "early bird" survey prize, comprising a $300 not-for-profit kit comprising a one-year Funding Centre subscription with access to our grants database, a year's membership to the Institute of Community Directors Australia and a $150 book bundle.
March's early bird winner was the volunteer grants coordinator at St Joachim's Catholic Primary School Parents and Friends' Association, Dani Newman, based in Brisbane's south east.
She summed up sentiment from many other not-for-profits with this compliment.
March competition winner Dani Newman.
But she also penned this stinging criticism.
Queensland pastor Greg Taylor from not-for-profit Twin Cities Life - which has strong links to the Townsville City Church - employed his obvious gift of the gab, to nab the April early bird prize. He offered this bouquet to grantmakers:
But he also lobbed this brickbat at those holding the purse strings.
April's winner Greg Taylor.
Finally, we couldn't allow our best "last gasp" entries to go unrewarded (we've all been there, right?), and so we've given a consolation Funding Centre subscription (worth $85) to West Footscray Neighbourhood House CEO Sharee Grinter, who lodged her entry late on the final day.
She complimented grantmakers for helping create "positive social impact from the ground up".
But she also issued this burning comment against cynical funders, for:
We hope any grantmakers reading this are taking note of some of these excellent comments, but we know grantmakers will be reading the study results closely.
Meantime, the prize winners said the additional resources were a welcome help.
Mr Taylor said he hoped the kit would "strengthen the governance of our organisation to create sustainable social equity in our areas of influence, and the programs we are endeavouring to establish".
"I am really looking forward to do this without having to "re-invent the wheel" by utilising the wisdom invested into these resources."
We expect to release further findings as our analysis allows, with the full report expected to be available later this year.
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