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Easy Agreements: Contracts in SmartyGrants

By Kate Caldecott

You opened a round, received applications and made the tough decisions about who to fund and who to decline. SmartyGrants made those processes streamlined and manageable. Now its time to put contracts in place. You may be wondering if you can do that in SmartyGrants too, and if so, should you.


The answer to the first question is yes. You can create and execute contracts in SmartyGrants. In fact, there’s more than one way to do it and which you choose will depend on the circumstances of the grant. Whether or not you should is something you need to decide depending on the size and risk of the grant and whether or not online contracts meet your organization’s governance standards. The advantage of having your contracts in SmartyGrants is that they will be in the same system as all of the other information you keep on the grantee. Having everything in one place will save time and make it easier to transfer data from one document to another.




online contracts in SmartyGrants



Online Contracts in SmartyGrants

For small, low-risk contracts (typically less than $10K) you can make the contract directly in SmartyGrants by creating an admin form.


Start by creating a choice question to say if this is the initial agreement or a variation. Use conditional logic to enable a date question that can be completed in the event that the form is being used to put a contract variation in place.


Next, ensure that you used standard fields to collect key pieces of information. You’ll use those standard fields to populate the contract:

Note that contact fields in SmartyGrants function differently from standard fields. You will not be able to use contact fields to populate the form.


Create new fields for the key deliverables (such as progress and financial reports), the dates they are due, and the amount of funding that will be released when they those deliverables are received and accepted. Use your standard contract language and these fields to describe the work that will be done and the payment that will be delivered.


You may also want to include a page on the contract to collect and verify the bank details, making sure everyone is in agreement about where payments are to be sent.


Finally, create a page to list the Terms and Conditions that your grantees must agree to. The last field on your contract should be a file upload question where the grantee can submit a signed copy of the form you’ve just created.



Contract in SmartyGrants



The online agreement was a lot easier and quicker to manage than the previous system. It streamlined the process considerably as there’s quite a short turnaround from when the successful applicants are announced and when we have the presentation event and distribution of monies. The previous year I was constantly waiting for the mail to arrive so I could process the agreements.


Penny Moore,
Community Development Officer, 

Maroondah City Council



Contract Acceptance Letters

For larger, higher-risk, more complex contracts, you’ll want to stick to paper, but you can still use SmartyGrants to send the contract and document when it was executed. Create the contract as a WORD template in SmartyGrants. The system will populate the relevant fields and you can send the contracts out as a bulk mail, or you can download them and send them out manually according to your usual contracting process.


SmartyGrants Grant Acceptance Letter


Next, create an Acceptance Letter form in SmartyGrants. Include the organisation’s name, project name, start and end date, amount of funding and contract number in your letter. Add a file upload question where the grantee can attach a signed copy of the executed contract. This way you have all the detail and protection of hardcopy, but can still access it from within the system.


Contract acceptance letters offer a convenient way to streamline your process without giving up the security of having hardcopy documents. Organisations I’ve worked with who have used contract acceptance letters have been pleased with the results. Brooke Cocks, Community and Partnerships Programs Manager for Sydney Motorway Corporation said that it “streamlined their agreement and invoicing process, ensuring a single point for contact and access.”


Always check with your legal advisors before implementing any change to your contract process. If you would like transitioning your grant contracts into SmartGrants, 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