Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR)
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.
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/.
Plus FRRR-supported coaching program gets underway
FRRR, in partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF), has awarded $276,963 in grants to four of Leeton’s not-for-profit organisations (NFPs). The funding will help these local groups build and strengthen the ways in which they are able to support the community.
The grants are part of FRRR’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program – a five-year program to strengthen Leeton’s NFPs and support them to make lasting impacts in their areas of focus for the community.
As part of the program, FRRR works with the groups to roadmap their aspirations, and provides funding to help bring these plans to life.
Alli Mudford, IRCF Program Manager, said that the IRCF program, now in its second year, is helping Leeton NFPs become stronger.
“Leeton’s NFPs have been working hard to identify common issues and develop strategies that will support their long-term sustainability,” Ms Mudford said.
“These latest grants will help these local groups with much-needed resources to employ locally skilled people to support growth, organisational efficiencies and take the pressure off their amazing volunteers.
“For Western Riverina Arts, this means helping the six museums in the region to better serve the community by employing a Development Officer. Leeton Multicultural Group will also get some much-needed funding and be able to employ an Operations Manager to help support the rapid regional migration to the area. Both these projects are driven by a desire for long-term solutions, so with this in mind, the funding will be granted over three years.
“The Rotary Club of Leeton is addressing volunteer fatigue by coming up with new ways to encourage and diversify the number of local volunteers. While Leeton Community Op Shop is working to ensure their #oneleeton and #ngumbaayleeton projects are both sustainable and safety-compliant by using their grant to invest in new equipment.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Leeton NFPs, supporting them as they implement their community roadmap,” Ms Mudford explained.
Tailored NFP coaching program kicks off
As part of the IRCF program, FRRR and SEFA Partnerships have teamed up to pilot a tailored coaching program for the Leeton NFPs. The sessions will coach three groups to build skills in their local leadership teams and work on areas including effective communication, strategic planning and governance.
Leeton Arts Society, Leeton Community Op Shop and the Rotary Club of Leeton are the first three groups to be selected to participate, which begins in February.
The coaching program combines group workshops, followed by a series of tailored one on one coaching sessions with local FRRR IRCF Facilitator Claire Williams and Hannah Miller from SEFA Partnerships.
“We are pleased to be able to offer this support after such a trying 2020 and if successful we hope to expand the coaching support to others,” Ms Mudford said.
In addition to Leeton, the rural communities of Junee and Nambucca Valley are 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.
Ongoing Partnership Grants
|Leeton Community Care Development Inc||#oneleeton #ngumbaayleeton
Increase organisational capacity by enabling the upgrade and purchase of vital equipment to ensure compliance and sustainability of #oneleeton operations.
|Leeton Multicultural Group Inc||Organisation of the Leeton Multicultural Group
Enable locally-led solutions to regional migration by building organisational strength in the Leeton Multicultural Group through the recruitment of an Operations Manager.
|Rotary Club of Leeton||Step-Up Leeton: Building Capacity from the Ground Up
Respond to volunteer fatigue by building a diverse volunteer bank for the Leeton community through providing new pathways for partnerships and learning.
|Western Riverina Arts Inc||Leeton Museum Development Officer
Increase the capacity of six Museums in the Leeton region by funding the employment of a Museum Development Officer to provide pathways to sustainability.
Investing in the long-term future of rural NSW communities
The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has awarded $1,047,716 in grants to support 37 projects led by not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) across six rural communities in New South Wales, through the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.
The more than $1 million in grants is funded through FRRR’s partnerships with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and The Snow Foundation, which are both committed in helping develop communities in rural and regional NSW.
IRCF is a place-based program that provides local NFPs and community sector organisations with practical support and funding so they can be stronger, more resilient, and fulfill their purpose with greater impact. The program encourages collaboration and community-led solutions that will seed the long-term self-sufficiency of these organisations.
In partnership with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, FRRR launched the IRCF program in the regional NSW communities of Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley. Now in their second year of the five-year program, these communities are sharing a further $557,698 in Ongoing Partnership Grants.
Alli Mudford, IRCF Program Manager, said that these grants mark the start of the second phase of the IRCF program.
“The first phase was about bringing community-based organisations together to explore common needs and identify areas where they could collaborate, as well as identify what support they required as individual organisations. The kind of issues that emerged included the need for staff, organisational training and skills development, and investment in community and organisational infrastructure.
“This second phase of the program is about helping the organisations take action on these common areas of need with the support of these grants.
“For example, in Nambucca Valley, a key challenge is broad community engagement. We are supporting Nambucca Valley Youth Services and Mujaay Ganma Foundation to develop projects to help them engage more deeply with locals, particularly the young people of Nambucca Valley, by providing training and mentoring opportunities.
“In Junee and Leeton, for example, Junee Rhythm and Rail, Junee Senior Citizens and Leeton Show Society will use their funding to purchase equipment and refurbish community infrastructure that is used by a number of local not-for-profits,” said Ms Mudford.
Some of the other projects funded through these IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants include:
- Junee Community Power received $15,000 to alleviate energy poverty for the community by installing solar power to the Junee Senior Citizens Hall. This will be the start a bigger initiative for Junee not-for-profits and community power.
- Leeton Connect received $90,000 to support Leeton not-for-profits by employing a coordinator to deliver training and development.
- Jaanymili Bawrungga in Nambucca Valley received $30,290 to develop a strategic plan to assist with operational objectives and create cultural economic sustainability with the support of a consultant.
A full list of IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants recipients and their projects are below.
FRRR staff will continue to walk alongside these three communities, working with them to implement their community roadmap. Nambucca Valley has seen a strong demand for funding with the first tranche allocated to projects that will be managed in line with the region’s overall allocation for the life of the program. Further grants will be awarded in Leeton and Junee later in the year.
Program now rolling out on South Coast
In April 2020, FRRR and The Snow Foundation partnered with the commitment to increase their ongoing support of South Coast communities and to expand the IRCF program into Bateman’s Bay, Nowra and Ulladulla. As part of the program launch, these communities are sharing in $490,018 in Start-Up Grants.
Kate Dezarnaulds, IRCF Coordinator for Shoalhaven, said last summer’s bushfires and now COVID-19 have had a direct impact on the energy, capability, and resources of these largely volunteer-run NFPs.
“These Start-Up Grants will provide a range of dynamic grassroots organisations with funding for projects that will strengthen them and increase their capacity to support the recovery and renewal of their communities, which have been so clearly impacted by these disasters.
“For example, community organisations such as Shoalhaven Health & Arts and Milton Ulladulla Business Chamber are looking at ways to better connect with their community through improved digital infrastructure.
“Other groups, like Shoalhaven Community Preschool, Ulladulla and Districts Community Resources Centre, and the Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance, are using their grants to improve governance and provide tailored training and mentoring opportunities for staff and volunteers. These are the kind of projects that struggle to find funding outside of the Investing in Rural Community Futures program, but they make a real difference to the viability and resilience of the not-for-profit sector in the region,” said Ms Dezarnaulds.
Some of the other projects funded through these IRCF Start-Up Grants include:
- The Family Place in the Batemans Bay area received $40,785 to develop a 5-year strategic plan that supports the urgent need to adapt to Telehealth to continue to provide services during COVID-19.
- The Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group in Nowra received $18,810 to work with a consultant to develop a new fundraising strategy that focuses on the launch of a social enterprise to provide a first employment opportunity for the women they support who are exiting prison.
- Treading Lightly in Ulladulla received $25,000 to establish a Community Hub to host their regular program of small-scale community building meetings, workshops and activities for the regions affiliated NFP’s – these workshops and meetings often have an environmental sustainability and youth outreach focus.
A full list of IRCF Start-Up Grants recipients and their projects are below.
Over the coming six months FRRR staff and facilitators on the ground will work closely with the three communities on the South Coast, supporting them to put their Start-Up Grants projects into action.
All 37 IRCF grantees will have until December 2021 to implement their projects.
Jump to IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants: JUNEE | LEETON | NAMBUCCA VALLEY
Jump to IRCF Start-Up Grants: NOWRA | ULLADULLA | BATEMANS BAY
Leeton not-for-profits (NFPs) will now have a set of helping hands to assist in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects suggested as part of the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program, with the appointment of a Leeton community facilitator.
Leeton was chosen as one of three New South Wales communities to participate in the IRCF program, which was set up through a partnership between the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
FRRR’s IRCF Program Manager, Alli Mudford, says that the organisation knows from experience how important it is to have someone on the ground to support organisations in their own community and help turn their ideas into sustainable solutions.
“One thing that we heard loud and clear from the Leeton community was how important facilitated discussions are and how important it is to have support to help bring groups and leaders together to talk through community needs and priorities,” said Ms Mudford.
“That’s why we are delighted to have Claire Williams joining the team as Leeton’s facilitator to support the community with the program.”
Ms Williams lives on a cropping farm between Lockhart and Narrandera and is passionate about regional development. Claire has spent several years working in both agriculture and communication, a background she believes will be beneficial when advocating for new opportunities in rural and regional communities like Leeton.
Both FRRR and VFFF have been inspired by the ideas that community representatives have put forward. Local organisations have identified that organisational development, governance, skills development and revenue sustainability are priorities for the Leeton community.
These suggestions have now been incorporated into a local Leeton roadmap for the IRCF program. These priorities were refined during workshops that were held online, due to COVID-19. But there is still the opportunity for other suggestions to be included if organisations didn’t get to have their say or their priorities aren’t reflected in the roadmap. Groups in this situation are encouraged to get in touch with the new facilitator, Claire Williams.
Local organisations and collectives in Leeton are now invited to apply for grants for projects that are reflected in this community roadmap. Ms Mudford says that FRRR staff and the newly appointed facilitator will work closely with local organisations to support them to apply for these, and future grants as part of Leeton’s IRCF journey.
“Each community we’re working with is very different, with its own challenges, unique personalities and the depth and breadth of not-for-profits that work within its boundaries. FRRR’s role in the IRCF journey is to act as facilitators and supporters, to enhance the ability of local leaders to deliver the change they wish to see.
“It is absolutely a privilege to be working with the local leaders we’ve met in Leeton, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds and how they turn these ideas into reality.”
Applications for IRCF Ongoing Partnership Grants based on the Leeton community roadmap are now open and close at 5pm AEST, Friday 12 June 2020. Grants will be awarded in August 2020.
To apply for an Ongoing Partnership Grant contact IRCF Program Manager Alli Mudford on 0448 992 820, or Leeton’s IRCF facilitator Claire Williams on 0429 092 165 or email email@example.com.