Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked a lot of questions by grant seekers from around Australia. We have listed some of the most FAQs we get asked. You may find the answer to question here.
What grant programs are currently open?
FRRR has a number of grants that open at different times of the year. As most of our grants are recurrent, they are generally provided during the same periods each year. Use our Find Funding Now tool to work out the best program to suit your needs.
How do I apply for a grant?
Our Find Funding Now tool allows you to determine what funding is currently available, and the respective opening and closing dates for each program. First and foremost, read the guidelines and eligibility criteria of the grant program you are interested in to ensure that your organisation is eligible to apply, and that your funding request aligns with the program’s purpose.
Unique program guidelines and application forms are provided for each FRRR program, and can be found on the relevant program page on our website. Simply click on the hyperlink from the event calendar page to find out more details about each of the currently available programs.
What Child Protection Resources do I need to have in place if my organisation works with children and youth?
FRRR requires all grant applicants who are working with children and youth to have policies and procedures around working with children and handling of child abuse complaints. If this is something that your community group needs to develop, the Child Protection Toolkit created by Moores and Our Community helps not-for-profit organisations ensure compliance with the complex web of legislation in this area. The Toolkit sets out practical advice to help organisations across Australia meet their child protection obligations and ensure their environment is a safe place for children.
Another great resource that we’ve come across that is particularly relevant for sport and recreation clubs and associations is offered by Play by the Rules, and includes Free online courses in child protection, harassment and discrimination, complaint handling and member protection.
What can be funded?
FRRR can only provide funding for projects that have a charitable purpose. This means they provide a benefit to the wider community.
Please note that the encouragement or advancement of sport, recreation and social activities is not considered a charitable activity by the Australian Taxation Office. Therefore, applications from sporting organisations need to clearly demonstrate a benefit to the wider community beyond sport, and should clearly indicate which other local organisations are involved.
Each grant program also has its own criteria, so please read the funding guidelines carefully before applying to make sure your project is eligible. If in doubt, contact the relevant Program Manager or the FRRR office.
What do you mean by demonstrated need and / or charitable purpose?
In Australia, there is no general statutory definition of “charitable purpose” and the meaning of this term is largely based upon the decisions of the Courts over the years. These decisions have reflected changing perceptions of social needs and attitudes.
To help you think about this in relation to your application, identify what are the problems / issues you are trying to solve / improve.
- Why is your project necessary?
- Can you demonstrate how this project will fill a gap?
- Will it benefit a broad group of people, and not just an individual?
- What will happen if the project does not proceed?
- We need you to tell us about the problem and how your project will fix or address the issue or initiate positive change.
Are local Councils eligible to apply for a grant?
Councils are eligible however the request for funding needs to be for projects beyond the Council’s normal roles and responsibilities and must be for projects with a charitable purpose. We are not able to fund activities that are the business or responsibility of government.
Applications from Councils should also demonstrate cash or in-kind co-contribution from Council and other sources. Evidence of collaboration with the community and the community’s support for the application is considered essential and significantly strengthens applications from Councils.
What makes a good application?
A good application is short and to the point but gives all the information required. Ensure you have answered every question asked and attached the relevant supporting documentation. Make sure you read the guidelines and consider the eligibility criteria to understand what is being asked of you. When writing your application you should also consider FRRR’s general eligibility criteria.
See our Tips for Great Applications for additional information.
Or visit our Youtube Channel series: Advice for Grant Applicants full of great tips!
I’m new to writing grant applications. What hints can you give me?
The first and foremost important tip is to read the guidelines and eligibility criteria before starting your application. Always ensure that your organisation is eligible to apply and that your funding request aligns with the programs’s purpose. If you aren’t sure if you’re eligible, contact the FRRR office on 1800 170 020 for advice.
Five general tips to help you write a good application are:
- Start your application now! Don’t leave it to the last moment. Write a draft and ask someone else to review it.
- Make sure you answer the question that has been asked, and be clear, simple and focused in your answers.
- Demonstrate the community need for your project and the broader community benefit.
- Make sure your budget is detailed and balanced (and includes in-kind support or other sources of funding, if relevant).
- We strongly recommend that you include supporting material to strengthen your application.
We’ve also developed this handy Insights and Tips on the Four Grant-seeker Stages.
Download our latest Grant-seeker Workshop presentation and visit our Youtube Channel series: Advice for Grant Applicants full of great tips!
What kind of supporting documentation is required?
FRRR requires all applicant organisations to provide copies of their most recent financial statements covering a 12 month period. Organisations that have been operating for less than one year are requested to provide bank statements covering the length of operation.
Letters of support are an effective way to demonstrate community need and benefit. Letters from community members are highly regarded.
Written quotes and costs provide solid evidence that the budget is realistic, well planned and allow us to verify that your budget is accurate. However, we understand if you are in a regional location and can’t get a quote, just let us know you tried. This information helps the assessors.
If the project is being undertaken on land / buildings owned by a third party, a letter of support from this group is required.
Consider including photos if you feel that would help us to understand the problem you are trying to solve. For example, a building that is in disrepair, or a park that is overgrown, are often best explained in pictures, not words.
Where else can I apply to for funding?
Grant funding for community projects is generally available from:
- Contact your local Council for more information.
- Contact your local Member for more information.
- Visit the GrantsLINK website for more information.
- If you have the appropriate tax status (e.g. DGR or TCC or have a partner organisation who does) contact Philanthropy Australia for more information.
Our Community Centre for Excellence
- Our Community operates the Funding Centre which provides free help sheets, services, newsletters, books and training to help community groups improve their fundraising abilities and become healthier and more viable.
- We recommend you spend some time reviewing these resources but be sure to make a cup of tea before you sit down, there is a lot of information!
- They also provide information on other grant programs available.
Can I hand write my application?
FRRR has transitioned to an online grants application portal called Grants Gateway, and applications to all programs must be submitted online via Grants Gateway. If you do not have access to the internet, please call the relevant Program Manager on 1800 170 020 and an application form can be emailed or mailed to you.
I have applied to other funding bodies for the same grant, is that OK?
Yes, FRRR encourages all applicants to seek alternative funding sources. Please inform us when you are notified of the outcome of other funding.
Where do you fund?
FRRR is a national organisation that funds rural and regional communities across all states and territories in Australia. Some grant programs have specific geographic criteria, such as Natural Disaster Programs where applications are restricted to a specific region or state, so please read the funding guidelines carefully before applying.
How much can I apply for?
Each grant program has a set of funding guidelines that demonstrate the total amount available to apply for.
Generally, grants amounts are between $5,000 – $15,000, but they vary from program to program, so please read the funding guidelines carefully before applying.
Don’t build your budget based around the maximum amount that is available for each grant. Think about the budget your project realistically requires and write your application around this amount.
There is no minimum amount to apply for. We can help fund very small projects too. We recently funded the purchase of a digital camera for a community newsletter – this cost just $150.
What information should I put in the budget?
Be realistic and show value for money. We really do know what things cost, so be honest.
If you are in a rural area and are having trouble getting quotes, let us know in your application. You can guestimate to your best ability or ask for a verbal quote or online quote. You won’t be marked down for this!
In the expenditure column, include all items for your project, including anything ineligible for funding in the grant program – i.e. please supply your project’s total budget, indicating which items the FRRR grant will cover. Give a reasonable level of detail – e.g. painting (xxxxxx). Include the total value of in-kind support as well.
In the income column, include your grant request, then list all the other sources of income for your project, and let us know if other sources of funding are secured or pending. Don’t forget to list the total value of in-kind support here too.
Do I include GST in the budget?
Do not list GST as a stand-alone line item. If you are paying GST on goods and services, include it for that line item. If you are not paying GST on other items, do not include it.
There is no need to indicate the total amount of GST in your budget, or indicate which items include GST.
What does in-kind mean and how do I show it?
In-kind is generally classed as a contribution made to a project that has a dollar value, but has been provided as goods or services instead of cash.
In-kind may consist of volunteer hours, equipment or services or it may also include discounts given to your organisation – as listed in quotes.
Don’t underestimate the amount of money your community is contributing to the project. Without it, the project would be unlikely to succeed, and it is a clear demonstration to grant-makers that the project has community support.
When including in-kind contributions to the budget, make sure it is represented as income and expenditure so that the budget balances.
Assessment of applications
What does the assessment involve?
Each grant program has its own criteria, guidelines and assessment process. Applications will generally be assessed by FRRR staff against the set criteria listed in the guidelines and prioritised. Assessments are then considered by an independent advisory committee before being considered by the FRRR Board.
When will I find out if I am successful?
Each grant program has its own opening and closing dates. Applicants will generally be advised of the outcome of their application within 14 weeks from the closing date.
Why did my project receive part funding?
FRRR attempts to support as many community groups to implement projects as possible with our funds, and may decide to give part funding for a variety of reasons, not limited to, but including :
- Demand for funds has exceeded the amount available to distribute
- Non-charitable expenditure items were listed, but cannot be supported by FRRR (for example, personal t-shirts or alcohol)
- It was felt the group has the ability to raise additional funds needed or had not listed any fundraising of their own to support this project.
- The quotes and budgets were inconsistent or incomplete or seemed extraordinarily high compared to similar items costed by other groups.
- The items suggested for funding are not critical to the project’s success and the project would most likely go ahead and have a positive impact even when receiving lesser funds than requested.
How does FRRR decide what to fund?
There are different criteria for each program, but generally applications are considered against the points listed below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to bear these in mind when writing their applications.
Criteria 1 and 2 are mandatory for all projects supported by FRRR, while the other criteria assist with the assessment process and are weighted differently according to the grant program and its objectives, however they may not all be relevant to your project or the grant program.
These are provided here as a guide only:
- Offers a clear public benefit for some or all of the community living in rural, regional and/or remote Australia.
- Contributes to rural and regional renewal, regeneration and development in Australia in social, economic, environmental, health, education or cultural areas.
- Enjoys demonstrable community support, for example, is based on a community plan endorsed by the community.
- Has a good prospect of longer-term viability and impact.
- Involves partnerships or leverages financial and/or in-kind contributions.
- Is differentiated from similar projects already in existence.
- Is supported by viable project management arrangements and a financially sound organisation (audited financial statements to be provided).
- Offers value for money – both to the community and FRRR.
- Has clear outcomes or performance indicators against which the project can be evaluated.
- Demonstrates innovation.
- Needs FRRR support to ensure its success.
- Is consistent with funding priorities set by FRRR from time to time and reflects FRRR’s current strategic objectives.
Why haven’t I been notified of the outcome of my application?
It takes approximately 14 weeks to process applications. FRRR sends an email notification to the head of the organisation listed on the application.
If our website has announced the successful applicants to the program you applied for, then please check with the head of your organisation or contact us, we want to know you haven’t heard from us!
Why didn’t my project receive funding?
Your project may not have received funding for a variety of reasons. Assessing applications can be a tough process and we take into consideration many factors.
These are some of the more common reasons for an application not getting approval:
- The project is ineligible under the granting guidelines, e.g. the application budget requested money for items listed in the guidelines as things that can’t be funded, required documentation was not provided, or the organisation has on overdue final report with FRRR
- During assessment, the project scored lower, when compared with other applications. For example, the application has not demonstrated the level of community need or impact.
- FRRR received applications requesting more funds than were available in the round.
- The application has not provided evidence of community and/or stakeholder support for the project.
- The grant is not critical to the success of the project (the project would most likely go ahead regardless).
- The project is underdeveloped and needs further consideration of the grant seeker to reapply.
- The project is outside the scope of the Program Guidelines.
- The applying organisation was recently funded by FRRR.
- Multiple applications are received from one organisation in a single program round. Only one application per round per organisation is accepted, any further applications will be deemed ineligible.
- The project did not look realistic / achievable, or its impact appeared to be unlikely.
- The applicant had a strong financial situation and / or ability to fund the project by other means.
Something has changed with our project – what should we do?
If something has gone wrong, then please contact us as soon as possible. We’d rather hear from you and talk about the situation than be left in the dark.
If your project has been delayed and you need an extension, your group can’t run the project that you have been funded for, or some other unforeseen obstacle has come up, please get in touch with us.
Contacting us by telephone on 1800 170 020 to discuss the situation normally works best.
Documenting and reporting on projects
What should I document?
Remember to document your project, keep your finances up to date and take photos along the way. Keeping an ongoing record will make reporting on your project far easier. You may wish to look ahead to the report so you know what is expected. Please check your grant agreement or other documentation from FRRR to understand your obligations.
Why do I need to report on my project?
The project report assists FRRR in the evaluation of the program and reporting back to the funding partner.
As the majority of grants from FRRR are provided in partnership with other organisations, all successful funding recipients are required to provide a written report and financial acquittal of their project.
Please note: Organisations that have not submitted a report and financial acquittal of previously funded projects may not be considered eligible for funding from FRRR in the future.
What do I include in a report?
Please check your grant agreement or other documentation from FRRR to understand your obligations.
The final report will include a brief description of the completed project, information on any changes made to the original project and the reasons for the change, a full acquittal of funds expenditure, and an outline of how the project has provided a benefit to the wider community.
We also require photos of your project. Even if you are running workshops, or producing a brochure, for example, we still like to see photos. It demonstrates that you have actually completed the project and also helps us share your story with others, including our donor partners. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Why is the final report important?
There are a number of other reasons why reporting on project outcomes is important, such as:
– Allowing us to fully understand what has or has not worked, and why this might have been the case.
– Ensuring that funds have been expended appropriately, which is another important learning for us.
– Informing other interested stakeholders about the project outcomes.
Reporting is also beneficial for FRRR to secure additional funding for similar projects in the future and plan effective grant making strategies. Hearing your feedback and opinions about FRRR’s work is invaluable, too.
How do I submit a report?
All reports must be submitted through the online Grants Gateway.
If you applied for an FRRR grant before Grants Gateway was introduced, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your grant details so we can help you.
If you have questions about our Fundraising Accounts, visit their specific FAQs page.
If you have read this information and are still unsure of something, then we are more than happy to answer your questions. Don’t hesitate to contact the FRRR office on free call 1800 170 020 or email us.