The Numbers

Granting income

We received $21.4 million in donations, via more than 2,300 donations, the largest of which was $3.3 million from the Australian Government. The smallest was just $1, while the median donation was $50, reinforcing the collective impact that even small donations can have.

Operational income

FRRR’s operations are funded through investment returns, contributions from donations and grants, and occasional consulting projects. Most operating income ($3.2M) was received from donations and grants, which enable us to support and engage with grantees and applicants, and to undertake the necessary due diligence to ensure that our donors’ generous contributions get to where they are of most value. This component varies from program to program.

Our Corpus

As at 30 June 2022 we had net assets of $30.6 million. This includes the main corpus, which was valued at $13.7 million – down 6.61% on the prior year, reflecting the tumultuous markets. Despite this, under the watchful eye of our investment advisors Koda Capital, it still returned $665,908, contributing 23% to our core operating costs.

FRRR’s Investment Policy reflects the ethical and impact requirements to not knowingly invest in an organisation that operates at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public safety, and the communities in which the organisation conducts its operations or the dignity of its employees. Where possible, we have a preference for investments that benefit regional and rural Australia and that are aligned with FRRR’s strategic aims, which includes impact investments.

The Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund, which we launched in 2019, stood at $4.5 million, a decline of 3.59% on the prior year, reflecting volatility in financial markets. Pleasingly, the Fund attracted further donations of $300,212 during the year. We made our first distributions from this fund this reporting year, with three grants totalling $50,000 supporting drought resilience, building future capacity and supporting an online community forum and information hub. We plan to make a further $200,000 in distributions this coming year for long-term recovery and future preparedness.

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Our Performance

In this second year of a five-year strategic plan, we set out to: grow our grant distributions to $17.5m; extend our reach and relationships in Western Australia and with remote and First Nations communities; influence and deliver more funding and support for disaster preparedness, as well as longer term recovery; and deepen our portfolio of place-based and capacity building programs. We also sought to amplify the voices of smaller and remote communities through the launch of a new Insights & Learning portfolio which was kick-started with the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study. The Board also committed to investment in our internal capacity to ensure our plans are delivered effectively, and to support and sustain growth and continuous improvement.

Despite all the disruption, our aspirations to grow investment in the know-how of people and vitality of places, to increase geographic equity in access to philanthropy and to accelerate community-led resilience in the face of climate change, are gaining momentum. In every action, FRRR seeks to further our vision – in our grant-making to not-for-profit organisations, conduit funding partnerships, insights, choice of investments , and choice of donor partners. We acknowledge the tensions that exist in the social, economic, cultural, and environmental opportunities and threats to remote, rural, and regional communities. We act with ethical exclusions, and positive screens – and take steps to consider and articulate how each of our choices contributes to positive social, environmental, cultural, and economic change across remote, rural, and regional Australia.

This year, while initiatives such as the appointment of a WA Advisory board and relocating to a new office were delayed by COVID , we are seeing continued investment in our corpus and we also made significant strides in our Insights and Learning program of work.

We also continued to scale our resilience and field-building programs, with the DR:FR rollout in Victoria, and confirmation of funding to implement the model in the Burnett region of Queensland next financial year. Thanks to the Australian Government, through the Future Drought Fund, we also secured $19.6 million to enhance resilience in agricultural communities prone to drought. Planning was completed this year and implementation will get underway next financial year.

Our place-based capacity building work continued too, with eight communities in regional NSW participating in the Investing in Rural Community Futures program. This model continues to evolve and we were pleased to have secured funding to tailor it to support the Bega Valley, which was affected by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

Thanks to the additional funds secured, coupled with support for our flood recovery appeal and new granting partnerships – including the Australian Government, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Suncorp and the NSW Government – we exceeded our granting target of $17.5 million, awarding more than $19.8 million.

You can find more detailed analysis of our performance on the Grant & Develop or Leverage & Broker pages, including a map of where funds were awarded, by clicking the buttons below.

For more detailed financials, explore the accounts lodged with ACNC. Note that they are based on funds paid, while this report is based on grants awarded.