Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal today welcomed the expansion of the place-based Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program to the Bega Valley, thanks to an injection of $1.3 million through the Australian Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program.

IRCF is a grassroots program aimed at building and supporting the capacity of not-for-profits so they in turn can support social, economic and built environment recovery. By working locally over the next two years, it aims to strengthen local not-for-profit (NFP) organisations and ultimately enable them to thrive, which in turn will have a positive impact on community wellbeing and sustainability. It is based on a mix of local on-the-ground support, access to workshops and training and collaboration with local community groups.

The IRCF Bega Valley – Resilience Connection and Place Project builds on the Investing in Not-for-Profit Capacity program, which FRRR has been running in Bega over the last 18 months.

The investment will allow for two community development project officers to be appointed – one full time, one part-time – in partnership with the Bega Valley Shire Council. They will work closely with local NFP organisations and community groups, including the three Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALC’s).

An important part of the program will be to develop a ‘roadmap’ for the local not-for-profit and community sector, to identify common areas of interest, shared assets and needs for capacity building. Once these needs are identified, the IRCF Community Development Project Officers will develop relevant resources and help facilitate training and other support to help NFP’s to maximise the impact of their work. They will also provide support in accessing other grant funding for the various groups that get involved.

The program will also deliver leadership training into the community, thanks to a partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

FRRR’s People Programs Portfolio Lead Deb Samuels says that this really is a collaborative, community-driven program.

“FRRR has worked hand in hand with community groups over the last 20 plus years, so we know that locals are best placed to know what they really need. Our role is simply to help facilitate the support that they need – and that’s exactly what this program is going to do.

“We’ve rolled out this model successfully now in seven other locations across NSW, so we know that this approach of bringing local NFPs and community groups together really works, especially when you combine it with on-the-ground facilitators. Together, they can identify common issues and opportunities and collectively prioritise where investment is needed, and what form it should take – including paying particular attention to ensuring it’s inclusive and culturally appropriate – to build their capacity as a sector.

“We’ve seen some fantastic spin-off investment and leveraging of resources and we fully expect the same to happen in Bega Valley communities. We’re really excited to get started!” Ms Samuels said.

Applications are now also open for the two facilitator roles, with details on the Bega Valley Shire Council site.

Designing and tailoring the IRCF program is a highly collaborative process. The next step is for FRRR, Bega Valley Shire Council and Australian Rural Leadership Foundation to meet with some key local leaders and start to map out how to harness this opportunity to build on what is already happening in the Bega Valley.

To find out more about the IRCF program or to get involved, visit ircf.frrr.org.au/Bega or contact FRRR Carolyn Ardler, IRCF Program Coordinator – South Coast on 1800 170 020.

Plus workshops scheduled re fundraising for NFPs and strengthening local connections

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal today shared that a $1.3 million funding boost for the Shoalhaven region to further enhance the capacity of local not-for-profit organisations to support their communities has already started to roll out.

The funding is thanks to a partnership with the Australian Government, through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Program.

The additional investment means that even more of the ideas and initiatives identified through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program to continue the ongoing recovery following the Black Summer bushfires can be implemented across the Shoalhaven region. Thanks to support from The Snow Foundation and more recently Bendigo Bank through their Community Enterprise Foundation, FRRR has been working with communities in the Shoalhaven and South Coast area since 2020.

FRRR People Programs Portfolio Lead Deb Samuels says that this funding will benefit communities across the Shoalhaven region, all of which were impacted by the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires.

“This generous funding means that FRRR and our partners can continue to work with local community groups and not-for-profits to enhance their capacity to support their communities. We’ve already started by reviewing the roadmaps that were created previously and refreshing them in light of the bushfires and more recently flooding and the ongoing impacts of COVID.

“Practically, it means that FRRR can keep our facilitators on the ground in the Shoalhaven, so they can work directly with community groups to maintain the momentum that has built up over recent years through the IRCF program. They will continue to bring the community together and to implement the roadmaps identified for each of the participating communities.

“Perhaps most excitingly, it means that we have also been able to expand our support to Kangaroo Valley and Lake Conjola – again, two areas that were significantly affected by the fires.

“We recently funded 20 places at the Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that matter in Bundanon. This three-day training session has equipped more local people with the skills to facilitate conversations that can lead to coordinated action and positive change. We will be further supporting local not-for-profit leaders the opportunity to attend Art of Hosting in the Southern Shoalhaven on 8–10 February 2023.

“Each of the initiatives that will be supported in future address issues or opportunities that local groups have already identified and prioritised. For example, in partnership with the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, we’ll be delivering a tailored year-long leadership program to 24 participants from across the community, thereby strengthening the leadership base for the future.

“All of these initiatives are designed to help local community groups to better support their communities and so we are extremely grateful for this additional support through NEMA,” Ms Samuels explained.

The Art of Hosting workshop certainly made an impact on participants. In one of the closing sessions, in response to a question about what they are taking from the event, one person said “Excitement & hope we can continue to collaborate in the Shoalhaven to nourish our communities”, while another commented “Feelings of respect and admiration for all, different expressions of experience and life stories, strengthened by sharing in the collective”. This additional funding will hopefully mean more of these sorts of sessions.

Registrations are also currently open for two more workshops that respond to local priorities – namely around fundraising, and building and strengthening connections and networking across not-for-profit. Representatives from any not-for-profit or community group are welcome to attend, but registration is required:

Ulladulla Session – Wednesday 23 November, 9-12 pm, Ulladulla Civic Centre –
Register: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/z0ves/frrr_ircf_program_community_workshop.aspx

Nowra Session – Thursday 24 November, 9-12 pm, Nowra School of Arts –
Register: https://www.stickytickets.com.au/0gf26/frrr_ircf_program_community_workshop__nowra.aspx

To find out more about the IRCF program in your community or to get involved, visit ircf.frrr.org.au or contact FRRR on 1800 170 020.

Eleven not-for-profits (NFPs) in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley will share in $444,063 in grants. The funding is thanks to FRRR, in partnership with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.

Investing in rural communities futures, Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley NFPs given $450,000 boost

IRCF is a five-year program initially designed to support local NFPs in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley. The goal is to support and build the capacity of locally-led organisations, so that they’re better equipped to deliver on their purpose and serve their communities.

As part of the program, FRRR works with community groups and leaders to create a roadmap that will help local organisations to work together towards achieving their goals and filling in the existing gaps within their communities. Program participants are offered a range of supports under the IRCF model, including access to a facilitator, grants, participatory planning processes, skill development, and external resources.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR CEO, said that the IRCF program in Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley is now in its fourth year and its success highlights how important it is to have place-based grant programs that focus on specific communities and their needs.

“This program is quite unique in the sense that it has operated over a number of years. This means that we get to go on a journey with these organisations, addressing issues they identify and working towards achieving the goals outlined in the road mapping process on what’s almost a step-by-step basis.

“At this stage of the program, the majority of the local NFPs being funded have previously received a grant through the program and are consolidating their efforts or building capacity to engage in more collaborative projects. The ongoing support and resources provided by this program give these communities consistency and the ability to plan for the long-term, both of which are crucial for creating sustainability and self-sufficiency in the future, once the program comes to a close,” Ms Egleton said.

“In this round, we clearly saw an emphasis on financial sustainability by the local organisations in these three communities. Program participants are working towards revenue diversification, improving financial systems and amplifying their value proposition, all of which are really important considerations for NFPs in remote, rural and regional Australia given the economic uncertainty we’re currently facing,” Ms Egleton said.

The full list of grant recipients and their projects are below:

OrganisationProjectLocationGrant
JUNEE PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
Junee Community Centre IncFinancial Sustainability and Responding to Community Needs
Improve sustainability through focused activity to strengthen financial systems, enable land acquisition and scoping towards the development of a Community Hub.
Junee$33,648
Junee Business & Trades IncorporatedRevitalisation Strategy
Revitalising Junee Business and Trades Inc through the development of strategic and marketing plans and improved financial management
Junee$27,894
Cooinda Court Aged Care LtdIndependent Living Study
Boosting financial sustainability and organisational efficiencies through a feasibility study to explore revenue diversification and the consolidation of client information systems including the enhancement of a compatible finance program.
Junee$19,286
LEETON PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
Leeton JumpstartThe Transformation of Leeton JumpStart Fund
Operationalizing strategy, diversifying revenue, and upskilling volunteers to future proof the Leeton Jumpstart Fund
Leeton$38,980
Leeton Connect IncGrants Support Coordinator and Collaboration Consultant
Consolidating strategic objectives and symmetries across the Leeton NFP sector to inform grants support coordination and future partnerships
Leeton$56,570
Leeton Business Chamber IncorporatedBuilding Capacity of the Volunteer Base to Ensure Sustainability and Business Continuity
Strengthening Leeton Business Chamber through supported coordination of the new Leeton digital hub, volunteer training, governance enhancements and maintaining partnerships.
Leeton$60,000
NAMBUCCA VALLEY PARTNERSHIP GRANTS
Shoretrack LtdYP Connect Tech
Building connections and understanding between ShoreTrack young people and the NFP sector through collaborative multi-media workshops and work experience opportunities.
Macksville$45,000
Miimi Aboriginal CorporationThe Leadership Growth Project
Revitalising Miimi Aboriginal Corporation through additional human resourcing to support wellbeing, cultural leadership, social enterprise development and operationalizing a new strategic plan.
Bowraville$50,000
Bowraville Communication Technology Centre IncorporatedCommunity Printing Services and Volunteer Support Training
Rejuvenating volunteer efforts and service delivery through equipment upgrades and First Aid training.
Bowraville$12,430

On Gumbaynggirr Country

The Nambucca Valley in NSW was one of the first participating communities in the Investing in Rural Community Futures Program, which FRRR has been running with the support of VFFF since 2019. The program aims to help local not-for-profit organisations build their capacity so that they can better support the communities they serve.

One such group is Mujaay Ganma Foundation, which was established in memory of two strong, proud Gumbaynggirr women – Mardi Walker, Mujaay and Florence Ballangarry, Ganma. The Foundation grew from the need to bring back cultural strength and trust to people and families who are dealing with cancer. But it’s grown to offer far more than that, supporting Aboriginal people and their families with culturally friendly, emotional, physical and spiritual support. Through culture and sustainable practices Mujaay Ganma also endeavours to support a healthy lifestyle in the modern Nambucca Valley.

One of Mujaay Ganma Foundation’s goals is to create the Yuraal Guunumba Ngurraay: Gumbaynggirr Native Foods Community Garden Project, which will improve the wellbeing of local Gumbaynggirr Country and community. The garden will be a space where Elders can share cultural values and pass on traditional knowledge and skills to younger generations. It will also encourage students and youth to learn about native forest and riverbank regeneration and ecosystems. There is also a plan to help young people learn the identification and properties of native plants needed for regeneration of degraded country, seed collection and propagation and nursery management skills. Ultimately, this will ensure the passing on of cultural knowledge from Elders and promote its value to the wider community. In addition, the hope is that the garden will help to connect young Gumbaynggirr people to Country, strengthen a sense of community and build the skills of local community members, leading to meaningful employment and freedom from welfare dependence, which contributes to community wellbeing. Importantly it will contribute to a healthy lifestyle, culturally, physically and collectively.

Ultimately the project aims to build the capacity of young Gumbaynggirr people, encouraging them to contribute to a more collaborative and cohesive community. This will be achieved by strengthening the passing on of cultural knowledge between Elders and the younger generations, strengthening pride in culture and in the identity of the young.

Furthermore, the wider Nambucca Valley community would have the opportunity to learn from the custodial people enabling more respectful appreciation for the original culture and abundant natural resources, so sustaining a healthy environment into the future.

However, with only being established in 2019, the organisation recognised that it needed to build its capacity before it could embark on such an ambitious project. By training local Gumbaynggirr coordinators, the project will support community leadership. These trainees could become well versed in project management and able to constructively give back to community in the future. These trainee project coordinators could learn these contemporary skills through being mentored by experienced project managers, learning how to negotiate resources, funds and engaging with other organisations by working with their mentors, learning ‘on the job’, at the same time as being supported in their culture by the custodial Elders of Country. This approach was chosen, as successful learning experiences for community people have involved learning while observing and engaging in doing.

This fit well into the priorities of the IRCF program, which included people, strategy systems and structure and sector efficiencies. They therefore applied to FRRR for a grant to enable them to hire and mentor two Gumbaynggirr people as trainees, who could then take on management of all the complex logistics involved in implementing the Yuraal Guunumba Ngurraay garden project. This was also an opportunity to help ensure that young Gumbaynggirr people are safe, connected to Country and have meaningful work.

With the support of a $38,443 FRRR IRCF grant, funded by VFFF, two trainee project coordinators were recruited and have been learning on the job. Their work has included:

  • learning about workplace expectations and creating a culturally safe working environment;
  • strengthening their connection to Country and culture, with Elders taking them on Country and experiencing ceremony;
  • setting up systems and administrative work, including writing policies and keeping records of the planning and implementation of the many components of this complex project;
  • creating a food garden under guidance of a horticultural mentor with experience working in the Aboriginal community at Miimi Aboriginal Corporation, where they learnt about garden preparation, irrigation, planting seeds and transplanting seedlings in preparation for establishing the Yuraal Garden;
  • learning about caring for Country from a Traditional Custodian with land management skills; and
  • managing a successful Golf and Bowls Day fundraising event, which was successful not just in raising money but in creating an event where community could come together, learn more about Mujaay Ganma Foundation and have a good healthy time together.

The training of the coordinators and the future establishment of the Garden is highly collaborative and involved several community organisations, including:

  • Miimi Aboriginal Corporation, who provided continual support of resources and consultation;
  • Earth Trust and Yarranbella, with support from Miimi, who mentored the trainee coordinators as they learnt to negotiate and navigate between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal systems, between organisations and students and teachers;
  • Bowraville Innovative Social Enterprise Precinct (BISEP) who helped them negotiate Western institutions and regulations;
  • Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative who provided continual support of resources and consultation, in particular around language and culture;
  • Gagu Land Services will took participants onto Country to help learn about caring for Country and land regeneration;
  • Yarranbella Environment Services who provided the horticulturist and registered teacher, who will help develop the training package needed for the garden to be created; and
  • Nambucca Valley Council who provided land for where the garden project will occur.

The Foundation was able to leverage the grant to secure wage subsidies and additional funding that meant the trainees have, with guidance, developed job descriptions, run recruitment information sessions, established a viable workplace for new recruits and learnt to supervise new staff.

Janette Blainey, Project Manager says they are proud to still be operating and to have succeeded in expanding.

“This grant we received under FRRR’s IRCF funding gave us the support and improved capacity to successfully apply for a further grant to establish a Native Seedbank and to train other young Gumbaynggirr people in custodial land management.

“While we still face challenges from the impacts of dispossession, racism and continuing colonising attitudes within the community, Mujaay Ganma Foundation has become stronger and better able to contribute more to the community. Our young trainee coordinators are growing in confidence and have pride in their culture and community, and are learning more about their culture and their Country. They are ready to step up when needed. Other young people have acquired knowledge, skills and a positive attitude to gardening an extensive food producing garden for the community to access. We also have two employees who are gaining project coordination skills. It’s also great to see improved relationships between Elders and younger community members.”

For more inspiring stories like this, head to our FY 2021/22 Annual Review.

A rural NSW grantseeker is proving that philanthropic investment in people and skills can produce a huge return on investment – bringing in more than $2.4million in grants for his community.

While many Government and philanthropic funders won’t give grants for funding people or capacity building, Junee Business and Trades Community Liaison Officer Nicholas Pyers is showing such investments can pay large dividends.

Nicholas’s role has been funded since 2019 by The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)’s Investing in Rural Community Futures program. He has been successful in helping win and advise on grants totalling $2,483,226 – and is awaiting news on a further $1million of grants that are in progress for Junee, which is located 440km south-west of Sydney in the Riverina region.

FRRR CEO Natalie Egleton said that since late 2018, regional NSW communities have faced a series of unrelenting disruptions, with drought, bushfire, flood and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into 2022.

“The impact on these NFP organisations has been significant. It has taken its toll on the people that lead and run these organisations and has increased their load and affected their wellbeing. The sector has been dealing with extreme fatigue, burnout, limited fundraising options, access to volunteers, disconnection and, in some instances wholesale organisational change.

“The funding of Nicholas and the grant support role is a great example of how investing in local jobs and paying someone who has skills can result in high-yielding results and impact for organisations and communities,” she said. “This gives weight to our practise of employing local people and leveraging their position to help build the capacity of the entire town or community,” Ms Egleton said.

The impressive tally has been reached by a combination of activities. The grants have been won either by Nicholas directly developing a project concept and budget, then writing and submitting the grant application, or him reviewing other grant applications that have been submitted, as well as him identifying grant opportunities for other groups so they are able to apply. Nicholas also provides support to individuals in organisations, building their capacity and knowledge of grant writing, which allows them to prepare and submit grants, and secure funding for their own organisations.

FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) model was developed in partnership with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and aims to strengthen local not-for-profit (NFP) organisations and, ultimately, enable them to thrive. It is a grassroots approach designed to build and support the capacity of individual and collective NFPs, over a sustained period of time.

This program now operates in seven communities in NSW, delivering a blend of grants and capacity building activities supported by local facilitators. Junee, Leeton and the Nambucca Valley were the initial cohort of communities supported by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. Supported by The Snow Foundation Nowra, Ulladulla & Batemans Bay started an IRCF program in 2020 and further investment by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation saw Bay & Basin communities join in 2021.

Successful grants for the Junee community range from upgrades to sporting facilities and meeting rooms through to projects supporting the likes of a museum.

Four local NFPs awarded grants

In partnership with the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, FRRR has awarded a further $50,293 to support four not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in the Bay & Basin area. Bay & Basin NFPs have now received nearly $150,000 to date through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, which is helping to address locally-identified priorities.

Heading: Further $50,000 investment in Bay & Basin not-for-profits. IMAGE: Bay and Basin group shot.

The IRCF program is a multi-year program designed to foster collaboration between local NFPs and strengthen their capacity, so they can continue to have a positive impact on the vibrancy and wellbeing of their communities. The program operates across the South Coast region, and in three other locations across NSW.

As part of the IRCF program, local leaders participated in community meetings and created a roadmap of the future opportunities they envision for their communities. This helped to identify the areas where the community groups and NFPs need support and ensures that the solutions being provided through the program are community-led.

The four funded projects cover various areas including strategy development, resilience training, equipment upgrades and human resources. One example is the Huskisson Op Shop who are engaging a paid Coordinator to support the Op Shop Volunteers, as well as a Business Advisor, who will help to modernise the Op Shop to support their food pantry in St Georges Basin.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that multi-year programs, like IRCF, are vital for these remote, rural and regional communities.

“The NFPs in Bay & Basin play a big role when it comes to the quality of life for people living in these communities. Local leaders know what will work, so our role is to support them to create locally-led solutions that can be implemented over a series of years. This ensures that these communities thrive long into the future,” Ms Egleton said.

David Impey, CEO Community Enterprise Foundation, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s charitable arm,  said that the grant recipients are committed to developing all aspects of their organisations.

“It’s inspiring to see these people who are willing to take such a multi-faceted approach when it comes to building resilient communities. Through this program they’re developing their skills, strengthening their relationships with their peers, improving their processes and engaging in some really productive conversations.

“These organisations are powerful advocates for their communities. We’re very thankful to be able to support their efforts in creating sustainable and long-term solutions that will see the lives of everyone in Bay & Basin made that much more vibrant,” Mr Impey said.

The four projects being funded are:

  • Vincentia Ratepayers and Residents Association Inc, Vincentia – Prepare, Develop, Publish and Regularly Update the Vincentia Ratepayers and Resident Association 2030 Strategic Vision Document – $7,000
  • Sussex Inlet District Chamber of Commerce Incorporated, Sussex Inlet – Sussex Inlet, a Vibrant Future- Building the capacity of our communitythrough resilience training and by developing a marketing campaign – $3,900
  • Sanctuary Point Community Pride Incorporated, Sanctuary Point – Boosting Pride by fostering community engagement and enhancing organisational capacity through the development of a website, communications strategy, and accounting software – $10,309
  • UCA – Bay & Basin, St Georges Basin – Growing the Husky Op-shop by building organisational capacity to enable a stable of aligned social enterprises – $29,084.

In addition to Bay & Basin, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in Nowra, Batemans Bay and Ulladulla, with the support of The Snow 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/.

And support from new IRCF Program Manager and facilitator

Seven not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) are sharing in $135,471 for projects that will strengthen the NFP sector and inter-organisational relationships in Nowra, helping the community to thrive and achieve long-term stability. Nowra NFPs will also have on-the-ground support from a new South Coast Program Manager and local facilitator.

$135,000 funding boost for Nowra not-for-profits

Funded through FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, in partnership with The Snow Foundation, these grants will allow Nowra NFPs to properly develop the tools, resources and skills they need to achieve longevity and create permanent change in their communities.

IRCF is a multi-year grassroots program aimed at building the capacity and connectedness of NFPs in select communities in regional New South Wales. As well as grants, these recipients will receive organisational support and coordination in the form of workshops that will help them to implement more effective systems, processes and training within their organisations.

Among the seven projects funded, there is a focus on developing leadership and business skills, technological transformation, cultural immersion and community engagement. These projects address needs highlighted through a community-led Roadmap, the development of which was facilitated by FRRR.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that these initiatives will have a lasting impact on the people of Nowra.

“It’s fantastic to see the not-for-profit organisations in this round of grants collaborating and learning from their peers, and successfully applying that knowledge to the unique needs and circumstances of their own communities.

“It’s wonderful to see local organisations prioritising community engagement and creating safe cultural spaces. This includes the South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation, which is using their funding to deliver cultural immersion sessions to 30 Nowra NFP representatives in response to vision identified in the Nowra Community Roadmap,” Ms Egleton said.

Terry Snow, Founder of The Snow Foundation, said partnering with FRRR has allowed his Foundation to have a significant impact on regional NSW areas such as Nowra.

“Having a home and running a business on the South Coast, I understand how important it is to support these not-for-profit organisations. They provide crucial support and fill gaps that help to keep these communities vibrant and self-sufficient. With the resources provided by this program, these organisations will create real change.

“A great example of this is the Nowra Community Food Store, which is using their grant to set up an E-commerce website with an option for contactless delivery, so that families in the Shoalhaven region who don’t own a car can still access fresh food.”

The five other grant recipients in the Nowra region are:

  • Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre Aboriginal Corporation, Nowra – Laying the Foundations for the Future of Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre Aboriginal Corporation – Support the Centre’s future vision and rapid growth by appointing a temporary Community Centre Team Leader to support the CEO in an operational capacity. $30,000
  • Nowra Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia New South Wales Branch, Nowra – Nowra RSL Sub-Branch Upgrade Project 2021 – Accelerate digital transformation and enhance client experience through upgrades to IT equipment and furniture. $16,469
  • Shoalhaven Community Preschool Inc, Nowra – The Growth Strategy Project – Strengthen the leadership capacity of the Centre during the Preschool’s relocation and expansion by providing a wage subsidy, expert consultants and professional development. $22,000
  • Shoalhaven Health and Arts Inc, Bomaderry – Capacity Building for SHAA’s Future Strengthen the capacity of SHAA to respond to community demand for their mental health, arts and events programs by paying wages for the currently volunteer-based managers. $14,112
  • South Coast Beef Producers Association Inc, Nowra – Governance Training for South Coast Beef Management Committee Members Strengthen the governance and strategic vision of South Coast Beef through the training of the management committee in governance foundations. $10,590

New IRCF Program Manager – South Coast and Nowra facilitator

Helping Nowra’s NFPs to make the most of the IRCF program is IRCF South Coast’s recently appointed Program Manager, and South Coast local, Carolyn Ardler.

Carolyn comes to FRRR and the IRCF program with extensive experience in place-based delivery to support communities to build capacity and reach their aspirations from the grassroots.

“I am excited to be working on the IRCF program as I strongly believe rural and regional communities have the solutions and strength within them to face their unique challenges. This program allows small not for profits to build their capacity and be more sustainable in the long term.”  Ms Ardler said.

Carolyn steps into her new position as Kate Dezarnaulds, FRRR’s previous Program Manager for IRCF South Coast, transitions into the role of IRCF facilitator for Nowra. In this role, Kate will be able to work more directly with Nowra NFPs to connect, build relationships and work together to improve their capacity and sustainability.

In addition to Nowra, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in Batemans Bay 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/.

FRRR has awarded another $286,318 in grants to four Leeton not-for-profit organisations (NFPs), in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF). These grants will continue to build the capacity and sustainability of NFPs in the Leeton area, allowing them to better support their community.

Funding boost for Leeton not-for-profits

The grants are part of FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program – an ongoing multi-year program that works to strengthen the NFP sector and inter-organisational relationships in Leeton, helping the community to thrive and achieve long-term stability.

As part of the IRCF program, FRRR facilitated sessions with community groups to create Roadmaps to document the organisational needs that exist in the Leeton NFP community and how FRRR can support local NFPs to maximise opportunities for a stronger and sustainable NFP sector and community.

Nancy Sposato, IRCF Program Manager for Leeton, said that each of the four initiatives being funded meets a need outlined in the Leeton Roadmap.

“The applications we received confirmed what we saw in the results of the FRRR’s recent Heartbeat of Rural Australia study, which showed, overwhelmingly, that after nearly two years of constant disruptions, volunteers are fatigued. In fact, many organisations have lost their volunteers due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“This round of grants will see new and continued employment of people for Leeton NFPs, taking pressure off volunteers and allowing these organisations to continue building resilience and capacity and doing what they do best – providing vital support for their community.

“A real strength of the IRCF program is that it provides a framework for these local NFPs to collaborate and support one another while also playing to their individual strengths. We can see such a sense of community in this round of applications, with intention for almost all of the roles funded through these grant funds working from the Leeton Connect offices. This will give the broader sector much greater access to their capacity building services.

“We’re also pleased to be funding a Leeton Jumpstart Coordinator who will oversee mental health first aid training. This training will be delivered to the Leeton Jumpstart Fund assessors, as well as members of the wider NFP sector. It’s these kinds of inter-organisational initiatives that will have a widespread impact on the entire Leeton community,” said Ms Sposato.

The four funded initiatives are:

  • Leeton Business Chamber – Leeton Community Digital Hub Initiative – Support the not-for-profit sector and develop, build and engage the community in a new Digital Hub for Leeton. $40,000
  • Leeton Connect Inc – Leeton Continues to Connect – Build capacity of the not-for-profit sector across Leeton and develop a plan towards a secure future by continuing to employ the coordinator for Leeton Connect over a two-year period. $147,600
  • Leeton Jumpstart Fund Incorporated – Leeton Jumpstart Coordinator – Build capacity in fundraising, marketing and the delivery of mental health first aid training for Jumpstart’s volunteer panel and other local NFPs dealing with crisis through the employment of a coordinator. $44,718
  • Leeton Shire Council – Community Grants Support Coordinator – Help not-for-profits in Leeton apply for and strengthen their own capability to attract funding and resources by employing a Grants Support Officer. $54,000

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

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

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/.

NFPs receive more than $100,000 in grants, and new local facilitator

Five not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in Ulladulla are sharing $109,577 in grants for capacity-building projects that will strengthen these groups, so they can continue to support their community.

Ongoing support for Ulladulla 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 groups with funding for needs and opportunities prioritised through the Community Roadmap.

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

The successful grants include funding for recruiting, training and providing continued support for volunteers and staff; upgrading organisational systems and adopting new technologies; encourage networking within the sector and promoting their services within the community.

This includes Ulladulla Community Connect, who are hiring a facilitator to help run the IRCF program in Ulladulla. Stepping into this new role is Monique Carson who will work with local NFPs and help support the IRCF program’s long-term goals.

Monique comes to FRRR and the IRCF program with extensive experience as an active community member, having co-founded two volunteer-run community services. She is currently the president of the local Ulladulla Gymnastics Club.

“After two decades living in Sydney and Canberra, I’m thoroughly enjoying life back in a regional community and am keen to share my on-the-ground knowledge and experience with Ulladulla NFPs, and provide practical support so that they can be sustainable and thrive,” Ms Caron said.

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.

Alli Mudford, FRRRs 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.

“The five grants in Ulladulla will allow groups to strengthen their capacity and address critical issues, including homelessness. There is also a strong focus on improving communication and networking. This additional support will help them respond to acute demand from vulnerable members of the community, and relieve both staff and volunteers who are being stretched.

“We look forward to continuing to work with local community groups, supporting them as they implement their community roadmap,” Ms Mudford said.

The five grant recipients in Ulladulla are:

  • Independence Ulladulla Inc – Every Body Deserves to Flourish – Build marketing and communications platforms, systems and staff capacity of Independence Ulladulla to market, promote and deliver a wide range of services to people with a disability with a new brand strategy, website and staff training. $20,000
  • Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber Incorporated – Community Connect Southern Shoalhaven – Enhance the marketing and communications functions of Community Connect to develop the skills and strategic focus of their members through investments in their community database, training resources and networking events.  $22,010
  • Noahs Ark Centre Of Shoalhaven Inc – Destination Ulladulla – Strengthen Noahs Inclusion Services through the design and implementation of a recruitment and retention program that will build a sustainable local team of allied health professionals for their Ulladulla office. $30,000
  • Safe Waters Community Care Inc – Leadership Development and Establishing Operation of Safe Shelter – Recruitment of a shelter manager to establish the operational procedures for the Ulladulla shelter for homeless people. $30,000
  • Bawley Point and Kioloa Community Association – Keeping Communities Connected – Expand on recent investments in governance, technology and communications improvements to ease the compliance burden and better connect people in the Bawley Point, Kioloa and Termeil communities through the purchase of a laptop, accounting software and ongoing website and IT support. $7,567

In addition to Ulladulla, the IRCF South Coast program is also working in Batemans Bay and Nowra 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/.