FRRR had another successful year, approving grants and distributions of more than $5.4 million to rural communities across the length and breadth of Australia. Our evaluation and acquittal systems help us to understand the impacts of the grants and support provided. Examples of the impact are provided throughout this report, particularly in the Grants in Action section.
In 2012/13 we attracted $8.742 million in donations from more than 60 partners and donors. In previous years, most funds have been distributed in the year in which they were received. However, over the last 12 months, we have entered into more long-term funding agreements, with $2.7 million received this year going toward the Grants for Resilience & Wellness program, which will roll out over a five year period. As noted elsewhere, this program is funded via the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, and will support the ongoing recovery from the 2009 bushfires.
This year saw a significant increase in the number of community organisations taking advantage of FRRR's Donation Account facility. At 30 June 2013 we held funds on behalf of 29 organisations. Collectively, they raised more than $1.75 million of which $1.3 million passed back out of these accounts this year. This is becoming an increasingly important service offered by our Foundation. FRRR pays monthly interest on funds held in donation accounts over $100,000, and the fees we charge are also based on cost recovery for the services we are able to provide.
However, our core business remains the distribution of small grants to not-for-profit community groups for charitable purposes within communities in rural, regional and remote Australia.
More than 1,900 organisations made applications to the Foundation across our various grant programs. Unfortunately due to limited funds we were only able to make financial grants to 34% of applicants, which meant 652 projects received support. This figure drives us to work harder and smarter to raise the profile and attract support for rural, regional and remote communities.
We also helped 13,414 students and their families to meet the costs of starting a new school year. Our Back to School vouchers were distributed through 49 community organisations, an increase on all fronts on the prior year.
An efficient, well-managed organisation
It is always our aim to raise more funds to meet demand, but we also collaborate with other funders and refer applications where there is alignment and fit. In 2012/13, as part of our 'clearing house' role, we referred 146 projects to potential funders including Australia Post and AEGN, and worked with communities to help them access alternative funding.
We are grateful to the Federal Government for the corpus funds we hold that help us to fund our operations. In 2012/13, our operating costs were met largely by the income generated from the corpus with the balance funded by service fees we receive for delivering programs and administering donation accounts. Our fees are fixed and are on a cost recovery basis only and in 2012/13 totalled $229,450 - 4.23% of our granting budget. We manage our operating costs closely, putting a great deal of effort into ensuring that as much of the funding we receive goes directly to the grant programs as possible. This year we also invested in several new developments and initiatives which will drive further benefits in the future. In this way, we are able to remain one of the most efficient Foundations operating in Australia.
As you would expect, we follow strong governance processes, especially given we administer funds on behalf of a number of organisations. The Finance and Audit Committee of the Foundation oversees all aspects of financial management of the Foundation. FRRR's Annual Financial Report is audited each year, ensuring our financial processes meet all statutory requirements.
If you would like further information about our performance, contact FRRR's CEO.
Please roll over the chart for more details