“FRRR grants are a wonderful avenue for small communities to gain project funding. The support, availability and understanding of what small communities deem appropriate and important, recognises and awards their worth and priorities. The grants provide an incentive for community groups to work together to 'achieve' and provide 'better' for the community.
FRRR's primary activity is as a grant-maker: we partner with philanthropy, government and corporate sectors to deliver grants, leveraging our unique tax status, and provide funding for projects that have real potential to achieve significant outcomes for people within rural, regional and remote Australia.
Informed grant making has the ability to positively affect outcomes for target communities and issues. Based on our experience and research, and on demand from within rural, regional and remote communities, we have identified seven key determinants that are critical to viable, vibrant and adaptive communities:
- Leadership, skills and capacity, of individuals and organisations.
- Strong social capital, community capacity, social inclusion and community culture.
- Quality services for wellbeing – health, education, arts, food and environment.
- Sustainable economy, providing jobs growth and wealth.
- Local infrastructure – places that enable community members to connect and help create identity.
- Equitable access to services – especially education, health, culture, transport and communication.
- Resilience and recovery - support in times of need, particularly in the medium to long-term after natural disasters.
The 17 grant programs and 2 capacity building programs (Community Foundation support and Donation Accounts) offered in 2013/14 reflect these key determinants of sustainable communities. We are currently exploring opportunities to consolidate these programs to better align with the key determinants. However in 2013/14, as a transitional measure, we grouped our programs into six streams:
4. Recover and Strengthen...
5. Industry and Places...
6. Annual Grants...
Examples of Annual Grants and partnerships in this year include:
Due to the scope and high demand for funding through our programs, we are sometimes unable to fund particular projects. Where we can, we act as a 'clearing-house' by referring the project to another funder or the applicant to other sources of funding.
Programs in Development
Since our inception, FRRR has been responsive to the emerging issues facing rural, regional or remote communities, and also to particular interests of donors.
In the course of 2013/14, we identified a number of community needs that were not being met, as well as some donors who had a special interest in funding projects in particular areas.
For each area, we undertook research, designed the program, developed a strong business case and, by collaborating with various donors, raised more than $2 million to be allocated across the following four programs, all of which were launched early in 2014/15:
- Creating Inspiring Rural Leadership and Engagement (CIRCLE) - in partnership with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. CIRCLE will seek to create capacity and enhance community leadership in rural and remote communities, tapping into local ingenuity and resources to reality-test ideas and put them into practice, learning along the way, as well as celebrating and sharing success stories.
- Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities - in partnership with the Monsanto Fund. This program will provide $5,000 to 30 cotton-grower nominated not-for-profit community groups across 14 cotton growing areas in Queensland and New South Wales.
- Innovation for Community Impact - in partnership with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and six philanthropic partners. This program will address pressing and persistent social issues facing communities in ten regional NSW Local Government Areas across the Hunter New England, Mid-North and Central Coast districts. It aims to support innovative responses to issues including domestic and family violence, education disengagement, criminal behaviour, and unemployment.
- Fast Track Ag Innovation - in partnership with The William Buckland Foundation. In a pilot invitation-only grants program, four farmer groups across four primary industries in Victoria will use grants of $150,000 each, over three years, to address one of their top three production constraints.