Leveraging our network to fund more projects
In FRRR's role as a grant-maker, it is always our aim to raise more funds to meet demand. However, where our own grant programs are heavily oversubscribed, we collaborate with other funders and refer applications where there is alignment and fit.
We utilise our strong philanthropic networks with donors and other grant-makers to help communities access alternative funding. This part of our role we refer to as playing a 'clearing-house'.
A great example of how we have achieved this relates to four community-led environmental projects that really stood out, in one round of FRRR’s Small Grants for Rural Communities program this year. The program is heavily oversubscribed each year, so we used our philanthropic networks to get the local solutions off the ground.
Because of the relationships we have with donors and our knowledge of their interest areas, we approached the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) and the Alf and Meg Steel Fund.
They were all keen to get involved. As a result of generous contributions, all four community-led environmental projects have been successful and the community groups are proud of the sustainable impact they’re making in their local area.
As you can read below, they are quite different projects but each is significant to their local community.
Achieving strong outcomes together
These projects have delivered multiple benefits for the communities – strengthening local community connections, improving local knowledge of environmental and sustainability issues and assisting communities in grassroots work to preserve their local environment.
With $2,060 supported by the Alf and Meg Steel Fund, a Risk Management Plan was developed to regenerate a historical site in the Gulgong Goldfield with an endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodland. Implementing the plan will enable school groups to use the area for environmental and history studies and the general community can now enjoy safe use of the bush picnic area while learning about the Box Gum Grassy Woodland.
Students at St Patrick's school worked with ex-farmer residents at Holbrook’s retirement facilities to construct a Community Vegetable Garden. The Holbrook community has embraced the garden and many locals are harvesting produce and using it at home. With $4,500 from the Alf and Meg Steel Fund, the garden has created a space for the community to engage, socialise and interact cross all age groups.
A group of passionate community members are working to preserve both local and national flora by constructing a community rest area. Supported by $1,914 from the Alf and Meg Steel Fund, the rest area includes seating and tables at the arboretum, which is on 30 hectares of Crown Land. This is for the community to use as a picnic area, a more comfortable destination for bird watchers and a quiet space for locals to learn about the low water and maintenance plantings.
A project plan for regenerating the Allora Flora and Fauna Mountain Reserve was implemented, with the help of $1,500 from the Alf and Meg Steel Fund. Developing a survey and brochures for the local library, schools and information centres has assisted local landholders to better identify plants and animals and increased visitor numbers to the region.
FRRR was pleased to work with the Alf and Meg Steel Fund, to bring these inspiring projects to fruition.