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Finish What You Started: Ensuring Grants are Acquitted

By Kate Caldecott

Things seem to be proceeding as hoped and expected with your project…until it’s time for the acquittal report. Suddenly your grantee seems to be missing in action. How can you prevent these gaps and what should you do when they do appear?


Set Up Acquittal Reminder Emails in SmartyGrants

SmartyGrants has some nifty tools to help increase your chances of receiving acquittals when they’re due.


When you add an acquittal form to an applicant, SmartyGrants lets you send out an automatic email reminding the grantee that the upcoming acquittal is due.


 See the SmartyGrants Help Hub for more information.


We’re all busy and the ball could be dropped on either side. An easy way to ensure that you’re aware of acquittal reports that have come in is to Bcc yourself on the confirmation email that the grantee receives when they submit their acquittal report.


SmartyGrants acquittals

See the SmartyGrants Help Hub for more information.



An overdue acquittal report represents a breach of your agreed upon contract. Grantees need to know this. Explain the consequences of failing to acquit a project to the grantee. This could include withholding payment on other projects with the grantee, as well as flagging the organisation as high risk (use a red flag in the Contacts section of SmartyGrants), thereby diminishing their chances of being funded for future projects.


When you reach the point of listing the consequences of non-compliance, it’s also time to bring other people into the conversation. If it feels like your emails are going into a black hole, it’s quite likely that your contact person at the grantee organisation has left. Check the project application and/or the organisation’s contact tab in SmartyGrants. It’s likely that you have more than one contact (such as a fiscal contact, the Executive Director). Copy them on the email.



When all else fails, go to the not-for-profit organisation’s website and find the contact information for the Board President. Send them an email and if that fails a formal letter (copy the secretary as well) explaining that the grant contract is about to be (or has been) breached and that this breach will exclude the organisation from being considered for future funding.


Finally, follow-up and document the fail-to-acquit in SmartyGrants. This record will become part of a risk profile that can be considered in the future.


If you would like support in designing your acquittal forms or acquittal process, please contact me at Kate@katecaldecott.com.au or 0447 227 598.


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  • Kate Caldecott worked with me on Australia Post’s Our Neighbourhood Community Grants program. She assisted with the grant process design and SmartyGrants grant management implementation.

    In working with Kate, I would describe her as being: passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated to community with a willingness to going the extra mile, above and beyond. It is always a pleasure to work with Kate.

    - Erin McKenzie, Community Events and Partnerships Advisor, Community Relations Australia Post
  • This is the perfect opportunity for me to thank you, in particular, ….. for the outstanding customer service you have all provided. You have not only helped us use SG effectively, but kept the panic at bay. There is lots more to learn about what SG can do and I’m sure we will be in regular contact …….

    Thanks to you all – you are fabulous!

    - Debra Slater-Lee, Programs Manager State NRM Office (WA)
  • Being a complete newbie on all aspects of Smartygrants I was daunted by the task of being completely responsible for the outcome of a major grant funding round at the Shire. I did the training and it still did not make much sense to me until I had my first session with Kate. The way in which Kate was able to clarify, explain and help me understand the rationale and functions of the system was brilliant, her manner always patient and professional, and her willingness to transfer knowledge and information commendable. Thanks to Kate I am now a confident user of Smartygrants

    - Marilyn A Gippsland VIC
  • Kate’s involvement in the final stages of the major review of two of Sunshine Coast Council’s funding programs added significant value to our work. As well as identifying additional sources of information for analysis, and suggesting enhancements to data presentation, Kate provided a professional critique of the review, validating our analysis of the review findings and the options identified in our report to Council.

    - Margaret Cattanach Team Leader Community Connections Community Services Sunshine Coast Council