Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

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/.

Nearly $100,000 in grants awarded to local NFPs

Five not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in the Bay & Basin region are sharing in $99,494 in funding that will strengthen the NFP sector and inter-organisational relationships in Bay & Basin, helping the community to thrive and achieve long-term stability.

Funding boost for Bay & Basin not-for-profits

Funded through FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, in partnership with the Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Foundation, these funds will allow Bay & Basin NFPs to develop the tools, resources and skills they have identified they need to achieve longevity and enduring opportunities 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 organisations 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.

The five funded initiatives focus on developing strategic and sustainable business skills, technological transformation, and supporting youth and community engagement. These local activities address needs highlighted through a community-led Roadmap, the development of which was facilitated by FRRR.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that the IRCF program’s expansion into the Bay & Basin region has been a great boost for local communities, with significant investments now being made for the future.

“These not-for-profit organisations are enabling community-led action and resilience through their long-term initiatives.

“It’s wonderful to see local organisations prioritising community engagement and creating safe cultural spaces, particularly for local youth. Like Vincentia High School, which will use their $24,000 grant to help create a safe community space with their integrated community health hub called Walawaani-ngarn (welcome place),” Ms Egleton said.

David Impey, CEO of Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation, said they are pleased to have been able to help expand the IRCF program to include Bay & Basin.

“We’re delighted to be on board with a program that’s making a real and practical difference. Organisations like the Lady Denman Heritage Complex Huskisson will be transformed by their $6,424 grant, as it will allow them to transition from using outdated catalogue software to a more efficient and secure cloud-based method of storage.”

The three other grant recipients in the Bay & Basin region are:

  • Sanctuary Point Community Pride Incorporated, Vincentia – Organised Youth Bay and Basin – $26,000 – Support the development of a youth forum and youth-led projects through the engagement of a youth practitioner to connect and support Bay & Basin youth.
  • Huskisson Public School Parents and Citizens Association, Huskisson – Equipping the Huskisson P&C for a Viable Future – $13,070 – Enhance the sustainability of the Huskisson P&C through succession planning, development of strategic documents, laptop purchase and insurance costs.
  • Bay & Basin Community Resources Limited, Sanctuary Point – Marketing and Communications Connecting BBCR and Communities – $30,000 – Enable Bay & Basin Community Resources to improve their communications and marketing through the employment of a marketing coordinator for six months.

Kate Dezarnaulds, who previously served as FRRR’s Program Manager for IRCF, will be transitioning into an IRCF co-facilitator role to serve the needs of these South Coast NFPs more directly. FRRR is also recruiting for a co-facilitator who identifies as First Nations, to work alongside Ms Dezarnauld. Those interested in applying can contact the FRRR team at https://frrr.org.au/contact-us/.

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/.

Nearly $700,000 in funding awarded to local community groups

Funding announced by FRRR today, is helping local community groups in Junee and Nambucca Valley to carry on their operations, despite multiple disruptions, by funding staff, developing efficient processes and boosting their capabilities through collaboration and technology.

Grants provide ongoing support for Junee and Nambucca Valley not-for-profits

Fourteen local not-for-profits (NFPs) are sharing $695,166 in grants, which will strengthen how their organisations function, and bolster the ways in which these groups can support their communities.

Funded by FRRR, in partnership with Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), Investing in Rural Community Futures (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. As part of the program, FRRR worked with the groups to create a tailored NFP sector roadmap, reflecting their shared goals. This funding and other ongoing support, including local facilitators on the ground, is helping bring these plans to life.

Nancy Sposato, FRRR Program Manager, said that the IRCF program, now in its third year, gives participating not-for-profits the opportunity to identify common issues and develop local strategies that will support their long-term sustainability.

“Through these grants, we have supported six organisations we’ve previously funded, alongside eight new organisations. This package really shows a deeper understanding and sophistication in how organisations are approaching capacity building,” Ms Sposato explained.

“At this point in the program, it is fantastic to see collaborations and sector alliances building within each community. A great example of this is support for Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council in the Nambucca Valley, who will deepen First Nations NFP sector collaboration and support key leaders to develop a cultural-competency induction package.

“Local employment continues to be a key capacity building measure in supporting stability and sustainability, particularly considering COVID related disruptions. For example, Junee Business and Trades will be able to employ a part-time grants officer, which will make it easier for local NFPs to apply for funding to support local projects. These grants also respond to the need for technology system and small-scale infrastructure upgrades, further enhancing organisational efficiency.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Junee and Nambucca Valley NFPs, and continuing to support them as they implement their unique roadmaps,” Ms Sposato, said.

In addition to Junee and Nambucca Valley, the rural community of Leeton is taking part in the VFFF-funded IRCF program. FRRR has also partnered with The Snow Foundation to expand the program into the Shoalhaven communities of Batemans Bay, Nowra and Ulladulla. In June, FRRR partnered with Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation to further expand the IRCF program into the Bay and Basin region.

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

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

OrganisationProjectGrant
JUNEE
Junee Business & Trades IncorporationAppoint a Grants Officer
Enable local Junee NFPs to access funding to support local projects through the employment of a part-time grants officer position. 
$118,959
Junee Community Centre IncSubsidy for Centre Manager
Sustain the Junee Community Centre by subsidising the centre manager role to support organisational governance, partnerships, and strategy development.  
$140,000
Junee Community Power IncJunee Community Circular Fund (JCCF)
Alleviate energy poverty by providing additional support to the Junee Circular Fund to facilitate completion of the installation of solar power to the Junee Senior Citizens Hall. 
$47,508
Junee Hostel for the Aged Inc

Modernise Aged Care for Junee
Modernise Cooinda Court's aged care systems by installing new technology to improve management of medication systems, clinical care records and communication. 

$49,706
Regional Heritage Transport Assoc - Junee IncMoving the Junee Roundhouse Museum into the 21st Century
Strengthen the capacity of the museum to operate more effectively with the installation of electronic software and appropriate hardware. 
$25,724
Riverina Working Equitation IncorporatedIllabo Showground Combined User Group Strategic Planning
Enable the Illabo Showground's combined user group to develop a strategy for the future sustainability of the grounds. 
$3,580
NAMBUCCA VALLEY
Bowraville Community Development Association IncorporatedSurveying the Bowraville NFP Community About the Future Use of the Pioneer Community Centre
Strengthen the use of the Bowraville Pioneer Community Centre by surveying the Bowraville community organisations to determine future use. 
$13,750
MiiMi Aboriginal Corporation

Gumbaynggirr Receptionist
Continue to build organisational sustainability and capacity by employing a young local administrative person for a second year to provide support to the organisation. 

$54,470
Mujaay Ganma Foundation Aboriginal CorporationYuraal Guunumba Ngurraay: Gumbaynggirr Native Foods Community Garden Project STAGE 2
Continue to foster community engagement, organisational capacity, and share cultural knowledge by engaging trainee coordinators and mentors to sustain the Mujaay Ganma's Yuraal Garden Project. 
$31,173
Nambucca Heads Mens Shed IncExploring Energy Options
Increase organisational capacity and save operational costs for community organisations by exploring the viability of using renewable energy to help sustain not-for-profit organisations in the Nambucca Valley.  
$11,000
Nambucca Valley CouncilLocal News Shared
Strengthen the collaboration of the local community newsletter committees of the Nambucca Valley to build capability, share content and amplify the voice of young people across the Valley. 
$43,292
Nambucca Valley Phoenix LimitedInvesting in Strategy - Building a Sustainable Social Enterprise
Building a Sustainable Social Enterprise. Strengthen the capacity of the organisation to deliver on their new Strategy and aspiration to become a sustainable social enterprise by strengthening their brand and supporting staff. 
$47,000
ShoreTrack LtdShoreTrack MOS (Management Operational System)
Enable ShoreTrack Ltd to develop an internal operational management system to maximise the organisation’s capacity and operationalise their strategy.
$36,300
Unkya Local Aboriginal Land CouncilJinda biin duguula (Sisters Together)
To deepen First Nations NFP sector collaboration and to support key leaders to develop a cultural competency induction package. 
$72,704


The search is on for a facilitator to continue to support Nambucca Valley not-for-profits (NFPs) in their ongoing development, as part of FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.

Search for facilitator to help Nambucca not-for-profits

The five-year program, established by FRRR and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), involves a wide range of activities that help strengthen the capability of local NFP organisations.

Now in its third year, the IRCF program is well underway in the Nambucca Valley, as well as two other communities (Leeton and Junee), which joined the program in 2018. FRRR, supported by VFFF, is working closely with the facilitators and NFPs in each community, providing grants, coaching and other resources as the needs evolve.

Former IRCF Nambucca Valley facilitator Nancy Sposato has recently transitioned to an in-house role at FRRR, creating an opportunity for a new local leader to take her place.

Ms Sposato said the IRCF program provides great opportunities for NFPs to come together to celebrate what makes the Nambucca Valley remarkable and work together to find tailored solutions to their challenges. She encourages her fellow locals and community organisers to apply for the vacant role.

“It’s a great opportunity for a community leader to step forward and help secure a vibrant, strong and sustainable future for the Nambucca Valley community,” Ms Sposato said. 

“The role allows you to walk side by side with our local community organisations to help them identify their challenges, find solutions and then support them to access the funding needed to turn ideas into action. It’s a fast-paced role that is building momentum and confidence for change in the Valley.

“Our regular NFP breakfasts bring together community leaders to collaborate on ideas as diverse as renewable energy, volunteer recruitment, governance training and new approaches to securing funding,” Ms Sposato said.

FRRR’s IRCF Program Manager, Alli Mudford, says having someone with local knowledge on the ground has been vital for the success of the program so far.

“The Nambucca Valley community values having local leaders and the traditional landowners, the Gumbaynggirr people, driving the change they recognise as priority in their own communities.

“That’s why the local facilitators are so important – they are the ones who help drive these initiatives and turn ideas into tangible solutions,” said Ms Mudford.

The facilitator role is offered on a part-time basis (20 hours per week) and is suitable for a dynamic community leader that can foster relationships and build partnerships in the Nambucca Valley community sector. It needs someone attuned to community needs and who has a deep understanding of capacity and capability building in a rural setting.

The role is a 12-month contract, with the potential to extend after that period. To apply, visit FRRR’s careers page. Applications close 5pm AEST, Friday 9 July 2021.

If you have any questions about the role or the IRCF program, contact IRCF Program Manager Alli Mudford on 0448 992 820.

New partnership will expand FRRR program to support recovery of fire-affected communities

Community groups in the Bay and Basin region will soon be offered access to $600,000 of support over the next four years to help them have an even greater impact as they lead recovery following the Black Summer bushfires. The support is thanks to a new partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Bendigo Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation.

Investing in Bay and Basin’s not-for-profits

Delivered through FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, NFPs and community groups in Vincentia, Sanctuary Point, Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin, Jervis Bay and Wreck Bay will have access to on-the-ground support including workshops, networking, resources and funding.

The aim is to help these local groups identify what they need to be more effective, so they can better help their community on their recovery journey over the medium to long-term.

The first step in the multi-year program will be a workshop (see details below) that brings together community groups in the area to identify what resources exist, strengthen connections and importantly, uncover where there are gaps. Funding and capacity building support then be made available to activate opportunities and address gaps.

The IRCF program, which launched in 2019 in regional NSW, moved into the Shoalhaven region last year in partnership with the Snow Foundation, providing support in Ulladulla, Bateman’s Bay and Nowra.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, said that not-for-profit organisations and community groups play an integral role in the vitality of rural communities, even more so after a natural disaster such as the black summer bushfires.

“FRRR is deeply committed to investing in the capacity, capability, and future sustainability of place-based community groups. It’s wonderful to be able to expand the IRCF program to more communities on the South Coast.

“We are thrilled to have Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation on board as a program partner, especially given its local presence in the Bay and Basin District and our shared values in supporting community-led recovery.

“The program has already made a difference in other communities, and we really look forward to working with local community groups and not-for-profits to envision and realise their roadmap for recovery and longer term resilience.

David Impey, CEO of Bendigo Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation, said that they were pleased to be able to support this program because it focuses on local organisations and enhancing their ability to rebuild and respond to local needs.

“Our focus for our NSW Bushfire Disaster Appeal and subsequent grants program has always been to assist communities and people impacted by the devastating Black Summer Bushfires. To ensure we can continue to support a community led approach, it’s imperative that the community groups who are key to that recovery are well-resourced, effective, and sustainable. This program will go a long way in helping increase skills and capacity of these local groups and enable them to strongly lead the recovery of affected communities.

“We are delighted to be partnering with FRRR on this program. They bring a strong level of experience and expertise that will guide these local leaders and support them on the long road ahead.”

Bay and Basin workshop – 16 June

The first step in the program is for community leaders to come together to discuss what support they need. Representatives are encouraged to attend the workshop below.

Who

When

Time

Where

Register

Community-based not-for-profit organisations in Bay & Basin.

16 June 2021

9.30am-3.30pm (lunch provided)

Vincentia Club Room, St Georges Basin Country Club

http://stks.be/bay-amp-basin-community-roadmap-workshop-1-day-ses
RSVPs are essential, so please register online for the session.

For more information about the Investing in Rural Community Futures program in the NSW South Coast region visit – https://frrr.org.au/funding/people-grants/investing-in-rural-community-futures-nsw-south-coast/.