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Adelaide council's grants innovation

The City of Onkaparinga on Adelaide's southern fringe takes its name from an indigenous word for "women's river", the waterway that runs through an area that spans urban and rural areas, great beaches and picturesque vineyards.

As every local government grantmaker knows, councils have their work cut out trying to make the most of natural advantages such as these, while also tackling every type of social disadvantage.

Catering for 170,000 residents, Adelaide's biggest metro council runs a grants program to match its size: 30 grants programs distributing $1 million a year.

Dale Sutton leads the councils grants and engagement team, and at the recent Grantmaking in Australia conference, he revealed how Onkaparinga is using new methods to boost community engagement and grants impact.

Those methods include:

  • a "shark tank" style pitch event in which community organisations seeking support vote for each other; and
  • an expressions of interest process to attract unexpected ideas on how the council should spend its money.

This is a shortened version of an article that appears in Grants Management Intelligence. To view the full article click here (members-only).


WATCH NOW: How the Pitch Fork Project moved spare cash, created a buzz.

Top image: The City of Onkaparinga is known for its beaches and wine-growing regions, with the d'Arenberg "cube" a landmark attraction. Picture: supplied

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