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Advice & Support

Grantmaking

What is grantmaking?

Grantmaking is the process of providing a grant (a sum of money) to an individual or organisation so that they may carry out activities for the common good.

In Australia, grantmaking usually refers to the provision of grants to nonprofit community organisations by philanthropic foundations and companies. Grantmaking is distinct from giving as it relates more to the process of structured giving. 

It often involves some or all the following elements: establishing a funding focus, criteria and guidelines; key dates; application forms; assessment; and formal correspondence with applicants and recipients resulting in the giving of a grant for social benefit. 

Each of these elements represents a set of considerations to weigh up, including transparency, your Theory of Change (see Measuring Impact) and the administrative burden on both applicants and funders. 

Our approach to grantmaking

The Impact Fund is Australian Communities Foundation’s flagship grantmaking program, through which we seek to shift the dial on issues of national concern. Grants are distributed through an annual grant round, as well as in response to timely issues throughout the year.

Useful resources

The following resources have been collated by our Philanthropy and Impact Team as useful starting points for understanding effective and responsible grantmaking.

A snapshot of our grantmaking guidelines (2020)

These guidelines cover the fundamentals of good grantmaking. They are based on the expertise and experience of our Philanthropy and Impact Team. Contact us for a copy of the guidelines.

An Introductory Guide to Grantmaking (2010)

Published by peak body Philanthropy Australia, this guide is written for people who are new to grantmaking. It is particularly useful for people involved directly with the process of assessing applications and making grants.

Savvy Giving

Commissioned by Australian Communities Foundation, Savvy Giving offers inspiring guidance for anyone involved in a charitable giving program. By using both the head and the heart, this book offers a step-by-step guide on how you can achieve impact and an enduring benefit from every dollar.

GrantCraft

GrantCraft develops and curates resources across different strategies, issues, languages, and formats. It is a service of Candid (formerly the Foundation Center), which works to improve the capacity of the social sector through data-driven tools and access to knowledge.

Can we help you?

Contact us to learn more about how we can help with grantmaking.