Westpac Foundation Rural Community Grants
Westpac Foundation partnered with FRRR in 2020 to offer Westpac Foundation’s Community Grants to rural and regional communities.
The Rural Community Grants helped to create strong and more inclusive communities in rural, regional and remote areas, providing assistance in what has been one of the most challenging years on record.
The grants focused on supporting organisations who are creating job opportunities and providing training and education to enhance employment readiness for people experiencing disadvantage.
Proudly supported by
How to apply
Please read the information on each of the three tabs below to make sure this is the right grant for your activity.
If you want to explore other grant options, please go to Find Funding Now.
I have a question, who can I talk to?
1800 170 020
Confirm you are eligible to apply for this grant
To make sure this is the right grant for your community, please read the grant information below carefully. Click on each headline to reveal the detail.
What are the program objectives?
These grants provide support for community organisations creating opportunities through education, training and employment for those who are most vulnerable in remote, rural and regional Australia.
Is this grant available in my area?
The grants will be available to community organisations based in, or delivering programs, outside a major city as defined by the 2016 ABS Remoteness Index.
How much funding is available? Are there priority areas?
Thanks to the generous support of the Westpac Foundation, $500,000 was granted through this program in 2020, in grants of $10,000 each.
What can be funded?
This program supports organisations that deliver education, training and employment and activities that help break the cycle for Australian’s experiencing disadvantage.
There is a preference for grants initiated and delivered by local community groups.
Applicants are encouraged to ensure grant applications suit their local community’s needs, priorities and interests, and are welcome to discuss their application with FRRR staff on the contact details below.
What can’t be funded?
There are several areas that we can’t fund through this program. If in doubt, please contact us.
- Activities that support core business and areas of responsibility of Federal, State or Local Governments;
- Ongoing core organisational operational costs (e.g. rent, utilities, regular wages, loan repayments);
- The encouragement or advancement of sport, recreation and social activities are not considered charitable activities under Australian law. Applications from sporting organisations need to clearly demonstrate charitable outcomes and benefit to the wider community that are above and beyond the sporting activities of the club;
- Overseas travel and overseas activities;
- Prizes, gifts, trophies or awards;
- Activities that have already occurred or will occur before the grant is confirmed;
- Political lobbying;
- Religious or faith-based activities;
- Activities that are for private benefit or which are the core responsibility of Government;
- Animal welfare;
- Rescue services;
- Medical research;
- Sponsorship or fundraising activities;
- Contributions towards capital projects, major equipment and refurbishments that are reliant on other funding and approvals yet to be obtained in order to be completed.
Is my organisation eligible?
To apply, you must meet the following criteria:
- Applicant organisations must be a not-for-profit organisation with either an Incorporation Certificate and/or an ABN. If you are unsure if your organisation is a registered not-for-profit (for example, if you are a Co-operative, Other Unincorporated Entity, Public Company or Trust), please contact FRRR;
- Activity must offer clear public benefit (i.e. has a charitable purpose);
- Not-for-profit organisations with or without DGR-1 endorsement are eligible;
- Organisations whose last financial year’s annual Revenue was at least $50,000 and under $5 million;
- Organisations who primarily operate to support Australians belonging to one or more of the target groups:
- Indigenous Australians;
- Refugee & Asylum Seekers;
- Women at risk;
- Youth at risk (>12 years of age);
- People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
- People who have experienced family or domestic violence;
- People living with a disability (including carers);
- People living with a mental health issue (including carers).
- Organisations whose activities are primarily aimed at addressing disadvantage and improving social inclusion for individuals within the target groups in education and training opportunities (ages 12 and over) and/or employment pathways;
- An organisation is eligible to submit one application per grant round;
- Activities must be in a remote, rural or regional area.
Please note, you will be considered ineligible if the:
- Application is submitted by individuals, sole traders, private or commercial businesses (as per the submitted ABN);
- Application is submitted by an organisation that is not a legal entity, without the written consent of the governing / partnering body who holds the ABN / Incorporation number;
- Application is submitted without required financial documentation (see additional information on the second tab);
- Final report/s from any FRRR grants awarded in the previous seven years have not been acquitted (delivery organisations should check with legal organisation to see if there are any outstanding final reports);
- Application is for a project or activity that has already occurred / is occurring prior to the announcement of funding;
- Application is incomplete. NOTE: Due to the volume of applications received, applications are assessed based on the documentation received at the time of application. FRRR is unlikely to follow up missing documentation after applications have been submitted.
If you need to share this information with others, you can download the guidelines above.
Gather information to support your grant application
Please read the information below to plan and prepare your activity. The information below sets out what you MUST include for your activity to be considered. There are plenty of helpful resources to support you along the way.
Please contact FRRR if you have any questions about the following information.
Your grant application MUST include:
Clear activity information
A clear description of exactly what the grant funds will be used for, when and where the activity will happen, who will benefit and who will be involved in delivering the activity, why the activity and grant funds are needed, how funds will be spent and how the success of the activity will be recorded, evaluated and shared.
Where possible, also indicate that your community is ready to deliver the activity and if required, can support the initiative ongoing – i.e. awareness of need is widespread, appropriate leadership, resources, skills and knowledge exist in the community.
Why is this important?
FRRR needs to clearly understand your activity to assess its merits. Applicants should focus on addressing the what, when, where, who, why and how of the activity, as this is the best formula to clearly communicate the details of the activity.
A ready community is best placed to achieve the aims of your activity, so during assessment, our staff look for information that tells us that good leadership, skills and awareness exist in your community to support the activity now and in the future.
Applications received without the requested financial information are ineligible. Providing incorrect information on financials is currently the most frequent reason why applications are not considered.
- For organisations that have audited financials: Attach the most recent annual audited statements;
- For organisations that do not have audited financials: Attach the most recent 12 months Income and Expenditure Statement. If you have a Balance Sheet, please also submit;
- For organisations less than one year old: Provide Bank Statements for the period you have been operating.
- If financial documents are more than 18 months old, please provide an explanation as to why the organisation does not have more recent documents;
- Bank Statements are only acceptable as financial documentation if your organisation has been operating for less than one year;
- Explain any deficits and steps to sustain the organisation financially;
- Provide a brief explanation of any large financial surplus or current assets and reasons why FRRR funds are still required;
- Income and Expenditure statements must cover a full 12-month period;
- FRRR conducts a broad range of due diligence queries when reviewing applications, such as: reviewing current and past incorporation, DGR and ACNC status. If your organisation has happened to have their incorporation status, DGR status or ACNC status changed or ACNC registration revoked or voluntarily withdrawn, please let us know the reasons for this.
- Please contact us if you cannot provide required financials or you are unsure about what to provide.
Why is this important?
FRRR uses this information to understand your organisation’s ability to manage the grant funds and its financial viability.
You must include an activity budget that clearly shows the items that FRRR grant funds will be used for and shows all income and expenses related to your activity.
Budgets should be realistic and must add up – i.e. total expenditure must match total income.
Applicant contributions in cash or in-kind are highly regarded. Quotes or detailed rationale for items over $1,000 are required, where possible. Note: FRRR suggests costing unskilled volunteer labour at $41.00 per hour.
Why is this important?
A clear budget helps FRRR to understand the size of your activity, exactly how FRRR funds will be spent and helps demonstrate community support for your activity through in-kind contributions either from your organisation or partners / community members.
How do I cost labour in my project?
Eligible legal entities
Every application needs to include an organisation that holds either an ABN or Incorporation Certificate. If your organisation doesn’t have that, FRRR could still fund the activity (with your organisation as the delivery organisation) but you need another organisation’s support, which we refer to as the ‘legal organisation’.
Even though your organisation may complete the application (and will be doing the work), it’s the overarching organisation’s legal and financial information that needs to be provided. They also need to provide a letter of support, confirming they are willing to play this role.
This situation often occurs often when the organisation delivering the activity or project is a branch of an overarching organisation – such as a local CWA or YMCA branch.
Why is this important?
This program is only able to distribute funds to not-for-profit organisations with an ABN or Incorporation number, and FRRR needs to know that the organisation with that ABN / Incorporation number understands and agrees to carry out their responsibilities in relation to your activity, if successful.
FRRR strongly recommends that you provide supporting materials such as letters of support, community plans, survey results, photographs, media clips and research reports that can show the wider community support and partnerships involved in the activity.
Large documents should be referenced and explained in the application.
Why is this important?
FRRR seeks to fund activities that are well-supported by the broader local community, are locally led and delivered, show good partnerships and benefit multiple parts of the community. As FRRR is not always familiar with your community, our staff consider support material as evidence toward understanding level of community need, benefit and support.
Why is this important?
We have grouped the kinds of activities that communities commonly ask us to help fund into seven areas, which we call the Activity Tree:
1. Building community resilience
2. Developing organisational resilience and capacity
3. Enhancing environmental sustainability
4. Fostering cultural vibrancy
5. Lifelong learning and education
6. Economic strength
7. Improving community health and social wellbeing
We ask you to nominate one of those seven areas when you apply. So, before you lodge your application, download the Activity Tree to help you identify your focus area.
Why is this important?
FRRR makes grants to communities, but we also need to be able to demonstrate to our funding partners where communities need support.
Need some more help?
We have a large selection of resources on our Grant Seeker Resources Page to help you along the way.
Submit your grant application via the Grants Gateway
Please contact FRRR if you have questions about any aspect of the Grants Gateway online application form.
Before you submit your application via the online Grants Gateway, please ensure you have:
It is time to submit your application. If it is helpful, you can download a copy of the application form.
Please read the instructions on how to use the Grants Gateway: Grants Gateway How-to Guide
Grants Gateway FAQs
Start a new application here.
All applications must be submitted through the online Grants Gateway.
Return to an existing application here.
If you have significant issues accessing a stable internet connection, please contact our team to discuss an alternative way of applying:
Ph: 1800 170 020 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Supporting organisations focused on employment, education and training is at the heart of Westpac Foundation’s strategy. Through our partnership with FRRR we have been able to extend our reach to new communities across Australia. In addition to funding, these organisations will have access to a range of non-financial support to help them through this time and beyond.”
Susan Bannigan, CEO Westpac Foundation
Explore some of the activities we’ve previously funded to see how other organisations have helped their community thrive.
Taking professional development on-country
FRRR supported the Nowanup ‘Bush University’ Schools Program with a $12,500 grant for professional development for teachers and staff, deepening cross cultural awareness and building Noongar Language and cultural activities into the Australian National Curriculum.
Catered training opportunities for Heyfield residents
The Heyfield Community Resource Centre used a $9,720 grant to provide a special training opportunity for people living with a disability in the community. They ran a hospitality and horticulture course that focused on developing practical skills and support employability.
Upskilling early childhood educators
Eidsvold Kindergarten hosted a professional development day for early childhood educators from the North Burnett and beyond to improve their professional knowledge and skills, ultimately benefiting children across the region.