Our values

Grantmaking is an absolutely central element in the global economic system.

Not one dollar should be wasted on poorly designed, poorly articulated, poorly evaluated, or inefficient grants programs and systems. Grantmakers should maximise resources by sharing lessons, and seeking and learning from lessons shared by others.

The world needs more and better professional grantmakers.

The job of grantmaking should be afforded appropriate professional status, training and recompense.

Grantmakers should listen to the communities they serve.

Grantmakers should be driven by outcomes, not process. They should trust and respect their grantees and offer programs, systems and processes appropriate to their needs and capacities.

Grantmakers should be efficient.

Wastage is indefensible. Skimping on systems, technology and professional staff is inexcusable.

Grantmakers should be ethical.

Grantmakers should ensure that the process of grantmaking is fair, unbiased, and transparent.

Grantmaking Thought Leadership

Our Community and SmartyGrants have for more than a decade been at the forefront of innovation in grantmaking.

We convene and coordinate a number of grantmaking affinity groups and events, push the envelope on data and innovation in grantmaking, and have developed a best practice online grants management system that is revolutionising grantmaking across the world.

We actively seek and document best-practice lessons and examples, and codify and disseminate what we learn through our website, our software, our training, and our publications.

In addition, we oversee Australia's most comprehensive grants database and go face-to-face (in person and online) with thousands of grantseekers every year through our extensive grants training programs.

Our internationally acclaimed Grantmaking Manifesto lays down our values, principles and beliefs, based on all we have learned about grantmaking. We use this document to guide us in our work to drive professionalisation of the sector.

Smarty Grants Manifesto Cover

The Grantmaking Lifecycle

Over the years, we've come to recognise that there is a distinct lifecycle that applies to almost all grants programs.

We've identified nine major lifecycle stages, most of which are divided into sub-stages, as shown below.

This lifecycle, which was developed in partnership with grantmaking specialists Fiona Dempster and Barry Smith, is reflected in the division of the Best Practice section of this website and the Health Check, and is embedded in our software and training as well.

Grantmaking Lifecycle 2020

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