When you become a SmartyGrants user, you're signing up for much more than software. You join a community of grantmakers big and small across the country and across sectors that have one thing in common: a desire to make scarce resources go as far as possible in supporting communities and creating change.
SmartyGrants' core offerings centre around three main themes:
- Thought Leadership: Our internationally acclaimed Grantmaking Manifesto sets out what drives us in pushing for reform and professionalisation in grantmaking, while our Codes of Practice for Grantmakers and for Grantmaking Agencies provide guidelines for best practices in grantmaking.
- Education & Professionalisation: Through our conferences, training and networking events, we're bringing grantmakers together to share common problems and nut out practical solutions. Through our publication, our website and our online grantmaking forum we are helping to identify and disseminate sound, practical and innovative practices. Through our surveys, we are helping to identify benchmarks against which grantmakers of all kinds can measure their performance. And through our Grantmaker of the Year Award, we are celebrating those getting it right, and helping to spread their wisdom further afield.
- Reform, Red Tape Reduction & Productivity Improvement: SmartyGrants is the central feature of our work to streamline and super-charge grantmaking - our "benevolent Trojan Horse". We are embedding good practices - next practices - in the software.
Other grantmaking initiatives include a project to build and embed a common classification and reporting schema - creating unprecedented data sharing, benchmarking and learning possibilities - a one-stop-shop data warehouse ("supply once, use often)" initiative, and the Centre for What Works, informing smarter, more effective grantmaking.
Responding to 'Grants Rage'
SmartyGrants is built upon the knowledge of grantmaking collected through more than 15 years of working with grantmakers and grantseekers. The software was built in part as a response to a deep vein of "grants rage" we saw flowing through the grantseeking world, a rage fed by difficult forms, bewildering practices, and infuriatingly slow processes. At the same time, we uncovered another significant stream of grants rage, with capable, well-meaning grantmakers hobbled by expensive, clunky, outdated technology (and some poor practices on the grantseeker side as well).
We identified a need for better education, stronger connections between grantmakers and grantseekers, and a powerful but affordable and easy-to-use technology solution for managing grants. Having determined that no existing system met the standards we believed grantmakers and grantseekers deserved, we built our own.
SmartyGrants is a vital part of Our Community's grantmaking reform agenda, ensuring that all grantmakers, regardless of type, sector or size, have access to an affordable, best practice online tool.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with our burgeoning community of SmartyGrants users and their constituents, we're constantly adding and refining functionality as part of our cross-sector grantmaking reform agenda.