The Future of Funding: What are the priorities and directions of Australian grantmakers? analyses funds distributed on the SmartyGrants platform between 2013 and 2020.
The analysis is of more than 500,000 SmartyGrants grant applications, representing at least $6 billion of funding by more than 440 grantmakers over eight years, and reveals funders making radical shifts in spending as covid-19 hit.
The study used the platform’s classification system CLASSIE to separate grants into social sector subject areas to show how the money flowed.
Summary of our findings:
Overall, the study found that at the height of covid-19 responses in 2020:
- there was a massive spike in demand for information and communications grant applications, as applications tripled, far outpacing supply
- state and federal grant approvals leapt as governments moved to distribute smaller grants in the $1,000 to $5,000 range
- local government grant approvals slumped for grants of the same ($1,000 to $5,000) value
- the proportion of grants allocated to economic development, arts and culture, and education rose significantly
- overall funding for sport and recreation slumped as a proportion of grants.
The report also shows a detailed breakdown of priority areas for funders, including top subject and beneficiary groups.