Grantmaking Musters

Learn from your grantmaking peers at a Grantmaking Muster

Muster image

Outcomes, Standardisation and Best Practice Grantmaking

Join us in Brisbane on Thursday 16 May to hear what’s new at SmartyGrants and talk about outcomes, standardisation and best practice grantmaking.

Speakers include:

Jen Riley, Chief Impact Officer at SmartyGrants. Jen has led the SmartyGrants Outcomes Engine rollout since late 2021.

  • See a full demonstration of the Outcomes Engine within SmartyGrants, and find out how to roll it out across your forms.
  • Discuss best practices for talking with grantees and other stakeholders about outcomes, progress, data and evaluation.
  • Hear from Queensland grantmakers who are using the Outcomes Engine.
  • Learn how small tweaks to your data collection practices can help reveal deep insights.

Alex McMillan, Manager, SmartyGrants Managed Services. Alex leads a team of highly experienced SmartyGrants grantmaking consultants.

  • Gather tools, tips and techniques to ensure you are getting the best out of your processes and practises to deliver equitable and lower risk grants.
  • Learn how standardisation of your forms, fields and practices will save you and your grantees time and pain.

Jodie Shanks, Director of Platform Transformation. Jodie oversees the SmartyGrants platform’s continual improvement and responsiveness to clients’ needs.

  • Learn about exciting new features that have been released into SmartyGrants over the past 12 months, and their practical application to improve your grantmaking.
  • What SmartyGrants tools can help you along your standardisation path.
  • Ask her anything! Tell us about your pain points.
  • Hear what’s on our agenda for the next 12 months.

Most importantly, the muster will give you the opportunity to meet fellow New Zealand grantmakers from a variety of backgrounds, make connections and collaborate on wins and challenges – all in a setting that is away from the everyday.


When: Thursday 16 May 9:00am – 5:00pm, followed by drinks.

Where: Veriu Punthill - Spring Hill. 40 Astor Terrace, Spring Hill, QLD (Note: this is an in-person event. No online options are available.)

What's included: Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and end of day drinks

How much: Free

Places are limited. Register early to avoid missing out.

What are we talking about?

During this muster we want to explore what we think are the five essential areas of standardisation.


How do you create a process with enough rigour to ensure its standard while still maintaining flexibility? How do you determine what business requirements are MUST haves and what can be sacrificed in order to achieve and standard approach? What is your appetite for risk and how do you tolerate this in your standardised procedures?


Tracking against a standard set of outcomes means that your organisation is pulling in the same direction, but how do you ensure your outcomes don’t become so broad that they lack real meaning at the program level? How do you get real measurement while trying to measure for everyone?

Platform and Tech

Spoiler alert! We are going to talk about SmartyGrants here – but we’ll focus on how our platform can support your standardisation agenda, and what existing or future SmartyGrants functionality will be your best friends.


All the planning in the world is no good if you can't get your people on board. Listen to a panel of experts talk to you about what they learned while undertaking standardisation of their organisations.

Data & Reporting

Reporting is an obvious selling-point for why you would want to begin the process of standardisation, but where do you get started with data collection, and how do you structure efficient reporting? How do you ensure that the reporting is meaningful when it needs to cover many different areas and potentially different priorities?

Why should you come?

We don’t profess to have ALL the answers, and we don’t necessarily believe any standardisation project will be easy. In the spirit of sharing, we’ve inviting you to hear what we’ve learned in the hopes we can help you avoid some of the obvious mistakes we’ve learned, and support the important shift that will deliver benefits for government, grantees, beneficiaries, and you - the grantmakers.

FAQs defines a muster as an assembled group or collection. At SmartyGrants it’s a gathering of grantmakers, a cohort of local, state or federal grantmakers who all use SmartyGrants to share wins, challenges, processes and forms (if you like), with the bonus of some SmartyGrants staff in the room. We will help guide the conversation, facilitate the discussion, and pour the drinks. We create the space where you can share with your colleagues and establish and develop a community of best practice. We will also provide some expertise, system demos and information about what's coming down the pipe in SmartyGrants functionality.

We will have SmartyGrants folks in the room, to help answer your pressing questions. But these musters are more about you and less about us. The muster will be full of local grantmakers – your peers.

A typical muster runs from 9:00am through to 5:00pm ending with drinks and nibbles until 6:00pm

Musters generally start with a presentation. We might spark the conversation with questions and facilitate the discussion, but ultimately a muster is an opportunity for you to share and build your own local grantmaking community.

“None of us is as smart as all of us,” says Denis Moriarty, the founder of SmartyGrants' parent company, Our Community.

Yes, networking is important, and so is finding out more about SmartyGrants – both are good reasons to go. But the main draw of a SmartyGrants muster is that it's an event where you can speak to Anh from the next council over about how she set up a community assessment panel, or Simon from the Department of Transport about managing an acquittal process, or Abbey, Marissa and Anthony about maybe collaborating on a program across three councils …

The reason you should go is to arm yourself with tools and connections that will help you to serve your community.

A better question to ask is: why shouldn’t I go?

Musters are not an online opportunity. This is about being in the room with your peers. We will come to you.

Musters can be hosted in most capital cities in Australia, depending on interest. We think around 30 grantmakers make a muster, so gather your colleagues and work groups and get in touch, or register below if we are in your city.

Musters are for you. If you have a speaker you would like to hear from or a topic you would like to hear about at your local muster, let us know. Better still, do you have a topic to present? Get in touch!

Contact us at [email protected], and make sure you add "Muster" to your subject line for easy identification.

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