Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Calling all not-for-profits in rural Australia

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

Make your voice heard in the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local NFPs in Nowra area invited to have their say

FRRR is inviting not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in the Nowra region to take part in an upcoming series of workshops to plan how the Foundation’s Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program can support them to create stronger organisations for a stronger community.

IRCF support for Nowra's not-for-profits

FRRR’s IRCF program is run in partnership with The Snow Foundation. Now in its second year, the five-year program is designed to strengthen local NFPs on the South Coast through localised support, resources and funding, so they can make lasting impacts in the community.

Called “Community Roadmap” (CR) workshops, these sessions will allow NFPs in the Nowra region to come together and map out how they will leverage the funding and support of the IRCF program over the next four years to maximise opportunities for long-term sustainability.

Kate Dezarnaulds, FRRR’s IRCF Program Coordinator, said that the workshops will look to the future, helping Nowra NFPs uncover shared goals and challenges, as well as offer a safe space for participants to reflect on and share the considerable challenges of the past year.

“These workshops are the next stage in the IRCF program. They are a great opportunity for local NFPs to come together and celebrate their resilience, as well as aid collaboration and sharing of resources,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

“As a result of these Community Roadmap workshops, the Nowra NFP community will have a list of priority projects that the IRCF program can then support over the next four years with grants and expert advice.

“The Community Roadmap is likely to uncover shared goals and needs such as strategic planning, governance training, digital marketing, finance advice and support, and additional resources to support innovation, sustainability and recovery.

“We are working with expert local facilitators, Campfire Coop, and invite a wide range of representatives from local NFPs in the Nowra region, including those not currently funded through the IRCF program, to come along to the workshops and have their say,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.

FRRR also announced $83,000 in funding for three projects in Nowra as part of the program’s initial Start-Up Grants. These projects will help to support and connect the community to respond to the challenges of 2020. In total, nine projects have already been funded through the IRCF program, thanks to the generosity of The Snow Foundation.

Nowra Community Roadmap workshops

Community leaders are invited to come along to either the day or evening session.

WhenDay session: Tuesday 1 June, 9.30am-3.30pm (lunch provided); or
Evening session: Wednesday 2 June, 5-9pm (light meal provided)
WhereDay session: Nowra School of Arts
Evening session: Bomaderry Bowling Club
HowDay session: Bookings via link
Evening session: Bookings via link

Nowra Start-Up Grant Recipients

  • Pathways Foundation Ltd – Pathways Foundation – $30,000 – Accelerate the implementation of a new COVID-adapted and localised strategic plan with seed funding for the appointment of a community development officer.
  • South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (trading as Waminda) – Waminda’s Social Enterprise Initiatives – $23,000 – Strengthen the financial sustainability of Waminda while developing the skills and confidence of Aboriginal women to secure employment, through the implementation of a business plan for three social enterprises.
  • Noah’s Inclusion Services – Enhancing the strength, effectiveness, and longevity of the Noah’s Inclusion Services workforce – $30,000 – Rejuvenate the pipeline of available allied health care workers and support succession planning for Noah’s leadership position s through a coaching program and a long-term student placement partnership with the University of Sydney.

See the funded Nowra projects already underway here.

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

UPDATE: Workshop recording is available to watch below:

WA community groups and not-for-profit organisations invited

Community groups and not-for-profits across remote, rural and regional Western Australia are invited to attend a free online grantseeker workshop, hosted by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) on Thursday 25 March, from 10:30am to 12:30pm (AWST).

WA grantseeker workshop

The workshop will highlight FRRR’s grant programs and provide grant-writing tips to help community groups become more confident in applying for any of FRRR’s grant programs. This includes the Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT) program for communities in drought, and the Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program, which is highly flexible and supports a broad range of community needs.

Recent WA communities to benefit from TTTT and SRC grants include Esperance, Leonora, Exmouth, Broome, Carnarvon, Quairading and Aldersyde. These grants funded a wide range of locally-led projects including initiatives designed to enhance community wellbeing and resilience, boost local tourism and assist in economic renewal.

FRRR connects goodwill with good purpose for the vitality of remote, rural and regional Australia. As the only national foundation specifically focused on ensuring the social and economic strength of these communities, FRRR’s grant programs give community organisations the opportunity to access funds for a broad range of initiatives that directly benefit local communities.

Register for this free online grantseeker workshop at: https://events.humanitix.com/frrr-wa-grant-seeker-workshop.

Note: Please avoid using Internet Explorer to open this link – use other web browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Edge. If you are having difficulties opening the link please contact the TTTT team via toughtimes@frrr.org.au.

Applications for the TTTT and SRC programs are always open. The cut-off date for the next round of TTTT is 24 May 2021. The next cut-off date for SRC grant applications to be considered is 24 August 2021.