Our story

Billions of dollars are distributed around the world in grants each year. Yet grantmakers and their grantees have often struggled with poor systems and processes for managing data and tracking outcomes.

SmartyGrants was born out of a desire to alleviate the “grants rage” generated by these issues. Launched in 2009, the system combines smart tech with a modern understanding of what grantmaking is and all it could be.

SmartyGrants is an enterprise of Our Community, an Australian social-purpose business that has worked with funders, charities, community groups and other not-for-profit groups since 2000.

It was through Our Community’s early work with grantees that we discovered an undercurrent of frustration with poor grants discovery tools, inadequate technology, convoluted processes, and missed opportunities for knowledge exchange. These issues echoed globally.

Grantmakers too were frustrated. In an effort to improve and streamline their processes, many had invested heavily in bespoke grants management systems, off-the-shelf systems or CRM software services designed by people with little on-the-ground experience of grantmaking and no aspirations for doing things differently, and better. Most of these systems quickly became outdated, costly and cumbersome, failing to meet the evolving needs of the specialist grantmaking sector. Governing bodies and auditors frequently reported inefficiencies, weak audit trails, and uncertainty about the impact of grants.

In a bid to alleviate the pain, Our Community formed a dedicated team to research best and emerging practices from around the world, test them with local grantmakers and grantees, and build them into a technology solution fit for modern realities. In 2009, SmartyGrants was born.

SmartyGrants is a hosted grants management solution that simplifies the process of receiving, assessing, managing and communicating about applications, automates tasks, and allows grantmakers to track, report on and visualise the flow of data and grantee outcomes. It’s more than a tech or CRM solution; it promotes sector-wide reform by integrating best practices into an intuitive, affordable product that grantmakers love using because it simplifies their work and enhances their outcomes.

SmartyGrants is the most-used system in Australia and New Zealand, and is now available in the United Kingdom and Europe, with a North American expansion on the horizon.

Grantmakers can use the service on flexible terms (agreements are generally 12 months in duration, and data is fully portable), and benefit from constant upgrades and innovations.

SmartyGrants also provides tips, tools, templates and knowledge-exchange, networking and training opportunities to reinforce Our Community’s commitment to sector reform. As we always say, none of us is as smart as all of us.

Our journey continues. We have ambitious plans to keep driving global positive change.

Sign-up to our newsletter