Grantmakers gather in Melbourne to raise the standards

Posted on 19 Oct 2023

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, SmartyGrants

Smarty Grants Muster Melbourne Collage Oct2023
The SmartyGrants Grantmaking Muster drew top grantmakers from around the country to discuss better ways of managing grant funds.

SmartyGrants hosted the cream of Australia’s grantmakers in Melbourne to tackle the thorny topic of grants standardisation.

In a lively North Melbourne “grantmaking muster" on Wednesday, October 18, grantmakers from governments at every level joined philanthropic funders and other experts to discuss the latest grantmaking trends and techniques.

NSW government representatives Kate Steenkamp and Adam Young, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Sharnie Curnow, and DFAT grants lead Glenn Williams took part in a panel discussion about rolling out grants standardisation at scale.

Grant nerds from across the country took advantage of a rare opportunity to share insights with like-minded professionals seeking the grantmaking “goldilocks zone”, where grant programs employ standardised processes that improve rather than hinder user experience.

Smarty Grants Muster Melbourne Collage page2 Oct2023
The event was a rare opportunity for "grant nerds" to gather to discuss challenges and solutions to pressing problems.

Delegates were given a sneak peek into the latest tools being rolled out by SmartyGrants developers, insights from our data science team, and details of how the Outcomes Engine can measure grants impact.

Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said SmartyGrants had been working for more than two decades to improve grantmaking standards and processes through best practice education and training, and through the SmartyGrants software as a service (SAAS) platform.

He said SmartyGrants was part of one of several enterprises at Our Community aiming to build stronger community organisations.

“Ultimately standardisation aims to make the lives of community groups a whole lot easier, and that in turn makes things a lot better for grantmakers too,” he said.

SmartyGrants chaos controller and executive director Kathy Richardson told the 50-strong crowd that standardisation, done well, meant avoiding wasted effort, increasing the impact of grant programs and meeting government and other rules and guidelines.

“Good practice standardisation will help you achieve the efficiency, transparency, fairness that's being increasingly demanded by auditors, media outlets and citizens.”

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