Carley Commens of Brisbane City Council has received the 2014 Australian Institute of Grants Management Grantmaker of the Year Award. Her key idea? Slashing the waste of unfunded applications.

The tenth Australian Institute of Grants Management‘s (AIGM) Grantmaking in Australia Conference brought together the philanthropic sector this month to take stock of the developing maturity of Australian grantmaking.

Speakers included Michelle Greanias from the US’ Project Streamline, Mark Buzza of the Movember Foundation, Impact100Melbourne’s Vanessa Meachen, and Amanda Miller of Kids in Philanthropy.

The conference also saw the announcement of the third annual AIGM Grantmaker of the Year Award, awarded to Carley Commens, a Brisbane-based arts administrator and creative producer, currently working at Brisbane City Council in the Creative Communities team.

Generosity-AIGM“The award is very much about ideas,” says the AIGM’s Chris Riches. “Less about the past history or achievements of the grantmaker, and more about the ideas they have for taking grantmaking forward in this country. Good grants don’t make themselves. They need good grantmakers.”

Commens’ argument for greater simplification of grant application and assessment processes impressed the AIGM Award panel, Riches says. Her case for increased adoption of tools to simplify both grant application submissions and assessments marked her as a future innovator in grantmaking, he says.

“We need to give good grantmakers more clout,” says the AIGM of the Award. “We want them to have more status. We need professional grantmakers to have a voice that can’t be ignored.”

With the award, Commens receives $5,000 to contribute to her personal and professional development as a grantmaker. Past recipients, Perpetual’s Caitriona Fay and Lara Hook of the RE Ross Trust, have used the award to further their education and research.

About the Australian Institute of Grants Management:

The AIGM is a member-based network of government, philanthropic and corporate grantmakers that promotes best practice education, support, training and services. Its grants management resources, including Grantmaking Toolkit, member publication Grants Management Quarterly, Grants Management Knowledge Bank, and SmartyGrants online grants management software can be seen HERE.

For more on the SmartyGrants software, see below:

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