Our grantmaking reform agenda
SmartyGrants is about a lot more than software. It's about delivering grantmaking reform as widely and deeply as possible.
SmartyGrants is overseen by one of Australia's most prominent social enterprises, Our Community - we're also a highly-rated accredited B Corporation. We're not about business for business' sake; we're about creating social value.
At the core of Our Community's work is the Innovation Lab, a place where data scientists, thinkers, and planners come together to seed ideas to do old things better or new things first.
The ideas generated by the Innovation Lab feed into SmartyGrants, manifesting in the form of tools and methods designed to make grantmakers' and grantseekers' lives easier, and grantmaking outcomes better. As the profession (some would say craft) of grantmaking matures, we're always thinking of new ways to deliver greater value.
Some of the Innovation Lab projects relevant to SmartyGrants are listed below:
CLASSIE is a set of common terms that describe Australian social sector initiatives and entities. When used collectively and systematically, the terms articulated and described in CLASSIE help grantmakers (and others) to make better sense of what's being funded and who's benefiting from that funding.
The Our Community Innovation Lab team is working on a suite of tools that will help you visualise your data according to location, with a range of overlays available to provide additional context.
The Innovation Lab has published a range of reports that utilise data from the SmartyGrants database to produce useful (not just interesting) outputs.
Social lenses in grantmaking
We're creating tools to help grantmakers and grant applicants/recipients uncover and remove social bias, creating fairer, more effective social change.
The aim of Project Streamline is to create a central repository of information related to not-for-profit organisations - a bank of data and official documents that organisations need to call on regularly when interacting with grantmakers, regulators and service-providers.
Outcomes Engine, Centre for What Works
The Outcomes Engine is the tool that SmartyGrants uses to crunch through all of the data created by SmartyGrants standard fields to give grantmakers a better understanding about the effects of their funded organisations and projects.
While SmartyGrants is influenced by the work of Innovation Lab, we make sure the Innovation Lab is informed by the same set of values that underpin SmartyGrants' work:
- Grantmaking is an absolutely central element in the Australian 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.
- Australia 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 equally wicked.
- Grantmakers should be ethical.
Grantmakers should ensure that the process of grantmaking is fair, unbiased, and transparent.
You can read more about these values at www.aigm.com.au/aigm/values/.