Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Grants provide ongoing support

Seven not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in Batemans Bay are sharing $131,106 in grants for capacity-building projects that will strengthen these groups, so they can continue to support their communities.

Strengthening Batemans Bay not-for-profits

Funded through FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, in partnership with The Snow Foundation, these grants will help these local NFPs with funding for needs and opportunities prioritised through the Community Roadmap.

IRCF is a five-year program designed to provide local NFPs with the tools and support they need to make lasting impacts in their areas of focus for the community. Alongside grants, FRRR is providing resource and support to help bring these plans to life.

The Roadmap was developed through extensive and ongoing community consultation that charted shared priorities and concerns. These grants are for projects conceived in response to the issues identified through this process.

In the seven grants awarded, there was a strong focus on supporting digital transformation, training and networking. Funding will assist organisations in responding to people in need and relieve stress in organisations, which is aggravated by an ever-increasing compliance burden and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.

Alli Mudford, FRRR’s People Portfolio Lead, said that the IRCF program is now in its second year of helping local NFPs to respond to each community’s specific context and support their long-term sustainability.

“One of the great positives of this program is that local groups come together to share their strengths and ideas to gain a more sustainable foothold in community giving and support. It’s been fantastic to see so many organisations keen to get involved, to collaborate and increase their capacity as a sector to better support their communities,” Ms Mudford said.

“It’s also wonderful to see local organisations stepping up and taking on lead roles. That includes Batemans Bay Rotary, who are coordinating digital skills and systems training, and ongoing IT support to link community services, charities and clubs and enable digital transformation.

“Eurobadalla Shire’s South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance will contract Community Facilitators, who will assist grassroots NFPs in Batemans Bay to benefit from the IRCF program.

“Other grants will help increase awareness in the community of service availability, such as Eurobodalla Education and Therapy Services who will refresh their brand and update communication and marketing materials for Muddy Puddles, to increase awareness and understanding of the diverse services available.

The four other grant recipients in the Batemans Bay region are:

  • The Circle Foundation Cooperative Ltd – Building capacity for operations, fundraising and community co-design – Critically timed support to enable the Circle Foundation to move from start-up concept to feasibility stage of development. $20,000
  • Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society Inc – Creative Ways to Recruit and Retain our Volunteers – Host a workshop to train the BBHS’s partner NFPs to create action plans for better volunteer recruitment and retention. $6,426
  • Eurobodalla Woodcraft Guild Incorporated – Eurobodalla Woodies Mogo Workshop – Commission the professional services required to support the rebuilding of the Woodies workshop that was lost in the Black Summer fires to enable reconstruction to commence and operations to resume as soon as possible. $10,000
  • The Family Place Inc – Managing Growth in Recovery Appoint a part-time resource to support fundraising, compliance and governance enhancements needed by the Family Place to respond to rapidly escalating demands from vulnerable families. $20,000

In addition to Batemans Bay, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in Nowra and Ulladulla with the support of The Snow Foundation, and in Bay & Basin with the support of Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, and in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

For more information about the Investing in Rural Community Futures program visit –  https://frrr.org.au/ircf-program/.

Calling all not-for-profits in rural Australia

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is calling on leaders of not-for-profit organisations and community groups across remote, rural and regional Australia to tell it like it is in the Foundation’s inaugural Heartbeat of Rural Australia study.

Make your voice heard in the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study

Established in 2000, FRRR is a charity dedicated to connecting the genuine local needs of remote, rural and regional people and places with the good will of government, business and philanthropy. Since 2000, FRRR has distributed more than $115 million in grants to more than 11,000 rural projects.

Working deeply in rural communities over the past 21 years means that FRRR is acutely aware of the critical role that small not-for-profit organisations and community groups play in keeping their communities vibrant and resilient.

However, Natalie Egleton, FRRR’s CEO, says that not everyone outside of these rural communities knows or understands it.

“Many organisations find it tough to keep going at the best of times, but we know that many places have been heavily impacted by drought, fires, floods, the mouse plague and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – often in succession – and the cumulative impacts are really significant. But how significant? What does it mean for their future?

“There is funding and support being channelled to these communities, but is it getting to the right places? Is it delivered in the right way? What exactly has the impact been of events like the bushfires and COVID on community groups? How are they getting funding to keep going? How are they resourcing themselves, given the volunteer fatigue?

“Our day-to-day work means that we know that without these volunteer-led groups, there would be a lot more gaps in the critical services that sustain remote, rural and regional communities across Australia. But because there is not really any hard data to measure the value of the work they do, and the challenges they face, it’s nearly impossible to quantify the important economic, social and cultural role of these groups.

“We have lots of anecdotal evidence to answer these questions from the thousands of grant applications we’ve seen in the last 18 months and our day to day conversations, but the reality is that is only a snapshot.

“That’s why we have commissioned this study. We need some hard data to inform policy and ensure that funding gets where it’s needed,” Ms Egleton said.

For this survey to be meaningful, FRRR needs as many local community groups as possible from remote, rural and regional communities to participate.

“We’re encouraging responses groups and organisations working with and representing the diversity of the people and places that make up country Australia to ensure we are telling as much of the story of remote, rural, and regional Australia as possible.”

The results of the study will be shared widely with government, philanthropy and business, to inform and influence policy. The report will also provide local groups with the evidence they need to successfully advocate for their community and to tell their stories.

“This survey will be a great tool to provide you and the people you live alongside, with the help and assistance that you need. So, it’s important that you make your voice heard, tell your story and help to shape the future of your community,” Ms Egleton said.

To complete the survey and share it across your community, go to https://frrr.org.au/heartbeat.