50 Key Messages – Grantmaking Priorities and Processes

Giving Australia found that philanthropists primarily supported social services, education and research and health organisations. More than half of respondents indicated that grant recipients must have charitable (TCC) status and two-thirds required recipients to have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR Item 1) status.

More than 80% of respondents reported that they have a process to review areas of funding with 60% conducting this review annually. It was most common however (72.5%) for grantmaking priorities to not change significantly and when they did it was mostly a tightening of focus.

When it comes to grantmaking processes however, more than half indicated that these have changed significantly over the past 10 years.

The most frequently mentioned changes involved grant application structures or processes. This included moving to online applications (the most common change in processes reported), as well as initiating a two-stage process requesting expressions of interest from applicants prior to the submission of a full application. Other changes included:

  • grantmakers taking a proactive approach and seeking out organisations relevant to their priorities
  • establishment of clearer criteria in terms of focus areas or organisations that will be supported with grants
  • greater emphasis on detailed reporting from grant recipients, and
  • evaluation of effectiveness for both the funding recipient and grantmaking organisations themselves.

The emphasis on reporting and evaluation was seen as highly relevant to another emergent theme – a greater focus on achieving impact and longer-term outcomes. Changes in review and decision-making processes were seen as linked to:

  • a move towards greater due diligence and research into organisational capacity
  • improvements in the quality of reporting and use of data, and
  • early development of algorithm-based technology to assist review and decision-making.

To read the full reports and factsheets, go to https://www.communitybusinesspartnership.gov.au/about/research-projects/giving-australia-2016/

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