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A word from the CEO
Like most people, the FRRR team is certainly having a busy run right to the end of the year! It's a heady mix of assessing grants and planning for the New Year.
In November, FRRR and Schools Plus co-hosted a joint meeting of the Philanthropy Australia Rural and Education Funder Groups. We presented the outcomes of a research collaboration between FRRR, Schools Plus, Myer Foundation and VFFF, with the support of skilled volunteers from Origin Foundation. We shared data to build a collective picture of what rural schools and non-profits are seeking support for and where grants are being directed, in an effort to better understand the issues and needs in rural education and the contribution being made by the philanthropic sector. FRRR is a leader in rural education and we will utilise the outcomes of the project to continue to build our understanding of education issues, strengthen collaborative and complementary funding approaches, and to inform the future of FRRR’s REAPing Rewards program.
The insights also fed into the FRRR Board's strategic planning day, where we also reviewed the initial feedback on assessing our impact over the last 16 years. This input, together with insights from a couple of significant reports released recently, including the Giving Australia Report and the Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery study will inform our priorities next year.
It was also rewarding this month to look back on what we've achieved in the last year, with the release of our 2015/2016 Annual Review. It's a wonderful reminder of the amazing things local communities can achieve with a little support from philanthropy.
The concept of partnership is at the heart of FRRR and I was really pleased to see so many community groups across Australia celebrating the power of partnerships during Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week. By working hand in hand, we can create strong rural communities, and build resilience. I am passionate about this topic and you may like to read a few of my thoughts in this piece I posted on LinkedIn.
Looking ahead, we are excited about 2017. We are having some great discussions with several new and existing partners about some exciting projects and I look forward to officially announcing who they are and what they will be supporting early in the New Year.
Before I sign off, I want to thank the FRRR team for the incredible work they have done this year. They are a passionate, efficient working machine – in the last quarter alone, the team has assessed nearly 830 grant requests for funding across 14 programs, as well as submitted funding requests and reporting to our donor partners. Thank you team for your continued commitment and support.
So, we'll be taking a well-earned break from Friday 23 December to 3 January. On behalf of everyone at FRRR, I wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season, please stay safe on the roads and we look forward to working with you in 2017!
FRRR Annual Review launched
Late last week, we launched our 2015/16 Annual Review with a short video from FRRR's CEO Natalie Egleton.
Last financial year, FRRR supported more than 580 projects via grants from 27 programs, distributing more than $6.4 million to support not-for-profit groups in rural, regional and remote communities. None of this would be possible without the more than 150 donor partners who contributed more than $6.8 million via FRRR. Or of course without the initiative and passion of the people that come up with the ideas and then see them through to conclusion in their local communities.
Please take the time to watch the video, review the online summary or download the full report. There are many great stories from across the country that showcase the innovation and resourcefulness of local communities and highlight the impact of the grants. This is also a wonderful testament to the founders of FRRR, who believed that philanthropy could make a difference in rural, regional and remote communities. And it does!
Celebrating the power of partnership
Communities and organisations from all over Australia celebrated Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week (CPPW), which is an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.
There were powerful stories shared right across the country, including from some projects that FRRR has supported over many years. Celebrations included the NRM North and Tamar NRN Ribbon of Blue River Trail community event in Tasmania; Celebrate Big Give, Victoria; Riverland Youth Theatre performance in SA; Maranguka Hub, NSW, celebrating Bourke’s safe, smart, strong kids; DASSAN stories of social change performance in the NT and Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa celebrating their Martu Living Deserts Project partnership in WA – just to name but a few. Several films were launched too, including this one from Channel Country Ladies Day, which articulated how working in partnership with philanthropy and other organisations is so important, especially for some of our most remote communities.
Take a look at what took place and some of the amazing partnerships on the #CPPWeek Facebook page. This year’s theme, power of partnerships, is very closely aligned to FRRR’s philosophy of collaboration. In a recent LinkedIn post, our CEO wrote that “Partnerships are at the heart of community resilience," explaining that more so than ever before communities are expected to be self-sufficient and how communities become resilient.” It’s an interesting read!
Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery report
The Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery study examined the impacts of the Black Saturday and related bushfires of February 2009 on community members’ physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The results showed that there was progressive recovery at community level over time but there was also evidence of delayed impacts on individual mental health and extended impacts at five years post-bushfires.
This report confirms FRRR’s belief that there needs to be long-term support available to help communities recover following a natural disaster. Needs change over time. FRRR is still providing support to areas affected by the 2009 bushfires, including addressing the critical issues the report outlined about the need for ongoing support for young people, and to support mental health issues in the community. Learn more about the programs available here.
Another key point in the report was the importance of resilience and together with The Prince's Charities Australia, FRRR is working on a project to help communities better prepare for disasters, and be more resilient - Disaster Resilient: Future Ready. We are close to launching this project and look forward to sharing the details early in 2017.
The festive season might be right around the corner, but we are still busily assessing grant applications and already opening new programs. Congratulations to all of the recipients of the 2016 ANZ Seeds of Renewal, Caring for Aging Rural Australian, Repair-Restore-Renew 2013 and Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants.
There are still some programs we are assessing, including Round 30 Small Grants for Rural Communities (which we hope to announce before Christmas), Tackling Tough Times Together (TTTT), GR&W and Community Group Futures, Social Innovation Fund: Eden Futures, Back to School and the Domino’s Give for Good grants.
We will be announcing all of these early in the New Year, so follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or our website for those details.
We have just opened applications for Round 31 of Small Grants for Rural Communities, so during the summer break, give some thought to what you want to apply for. Applications close March 31. For those in 2009 Victorian Bushfire areas, School & Beyond is also open.
Other grant programs that we are currently finalising opening dates for include:
- Gardiner Working in Dairy Communities - February
- Community Group Futures (2009 Vic. Fires) – March
- Grants for Resilience & Wellness - (2009 Vic. Fires) – March
- Social Innovation Fund – Wagga – mid March
- Social Innovation Fund – Kempsey – mid March
- Tackling Tough Times Together – late March
- Innovation for Community Impact (select NSW areas) - April
Check our Grants Calendar regularly to be sure that you know when programs open.
Volunteers making a difference
In recent weeks, FRRR has received support from two very generous groups of employees. The first were skilled volunteers from Origin, who used their considerable expertise in data analysis to support the evaluation of thousands of grants made by FRRR and several donor partners. This data-crunching was critical to inform a review of the impact of grants for educational projects to support young people in rural, regional and remote Australia. This work will continue in the new year, as we explore ways to ensure education funding from across the philanthropic sector goes to those most in need.
We were also fortunate to have a volunteer from Bupa (Tina, pictured 2nd from right on top row) work with us to plan our approach to the implementation of a new online granting system. With Tina's help, we began mapping our processes and identifying ways to make it even easier for community groups to secure the funding they need.
We are very grateful to the employees of both organisations for their generous support of FRRR and in turn the community groups we support.
Grants in the media
One door closes – another is sure to open
What does a community do when it has lost its major industries? It rallies the locals and forges a new direction for the community! Killarney, on the Southern Downs in Queensland, used to have a strong dairy co-operative, local meatworks and timber industry. But these industries no longer support the local area, so it was time to make a change.
The Killarney Area Promotions Association (KAPA) devised a program to harness all the positives about Killarney and give it new life. As long-time FRRR supporter Col Jackson reported in AgAlert, a $4,000 grant from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, supported by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, funded a two-day conference, ‘Inspiration for Small Towns – Economic Development’ to inspire local community members to bring more business to the area.
Opening of Dumbalk Community Centre!
In November, a large crowd gathered in Dumbalk, Victoria for the re-opening of the Dumbalk Community Centre.
As reported by the Mirror (Foster), an enormous community effort went into transforming and refurbishing the old kindergarten into a state of the art community facility, thanks to support from a $60,000 FRRR grant, about half of the total budget.
The project is a testament to the persistence and dedication of the Dumbalk community, especially the Dumbalk Community and Progress Association, to make use of the redundant space to provide new opportunities for the area.
The Centre is now a space for groups to hold meetings, courses and community functions. New facilities include a reception area and waiting room, cleaning room, kitchenette and two consulting suites.
Partnerships on show in Tassie
People young and old came together at the Don River Railway last week to celebrate the power of the partnership between Munnew Day Centre, Mission Australia Early Learning and Coastal Family Day Care. The concept is that musical play can assist with health and wellbeing. And what better way to celebrate than with a train ride, lunch and music!
The event was part of Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week (CPPW), which showcased how partnerships between community groups and philanthropy can help build strong and vibrant places to live and work.
As the Burnie Advocate reported, Devonport’s Munnew Day Centre was successful in receiving a grant to organise and develop the Intergenerational Music Play Project, which was launched at the event as part of CPPW.
Handy tips for community groups
Closing soon - Volunteer Grants – 2016
Eligible volunteer organisations and individuals can apply for DSS Volunteer Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000. These grants contribute towards the cost of small equipment, training volunteers and fundraising efforts. Funding priority will be given to organisations working in disadvantaged communities or those affected by natural disasters. Applications close 2pm AEDT Tuesday, 20 December 2016.
Guide to effective grant-seeking
The coming holiday season provides an opportunity to catch up on some reading and to start planning for the coming year. A useful resource to review is the recently released guide to grant-seeking, produced by Philanthropy Australia. It is a basic guide to philanthropic funders, how they operate and how you can research them and apply to them for funding. If you are a not-for-profit seeking grant funds, read this How to Guide from Philanthropy Australia.
See you in the New Year
FRRR's offices will close on 22 December, and reopen on 3 January. We wish all our donor and community partners a happy and safe festive season.
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Grants in action
The Multicultural Council of the Northern Territory Inc. used a $10,000 FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant to work with Multicultural Youth NT (MyNT) to plan, hold and film an event based on the popular TV show, The Amazing Race. It was called #theRACEDarwin, with RACE being short for ‘Racial and Cultural Experience’.
Groups went on a one day quest, completing culturally-influenced challenges. Each activity was hosted by a community organisation in a location that has significance for Australia and/or the Northern Territory. The day concluded with a multicultural concert and food festival.
#theRACEDarwin proved popular as this series of short films shows! What a great way to break down racism and raise awareness of the cultural diversity in Darwin.
Watch more ...
Garah reading program brings broad benefits
The P&C in the small town of Garah, on the Carnavon Highway, about 650 kms north of Sydney, are passionate and very committed to ensuring a great education for their young people.
They used a $5,000 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant (funded by the Monsanto Fund) for their Growing greater opportunities for Garah reading program.
The grant allowed a teacher's aid to support students three mornings per week, as well as bought new books and the Reading Eggs program. This computer program can be used at school and is also available for parents to use at home.
The funding has led to good outcomes, including students getting more one-on-one support, which has improved their reading outcomes
The community also benefitted, learning how technology has changed education for their children and how to get involved and be better prepared.
Read more ...
A JUMPSTART for new businesses
Thanks to the JUMPSTART project in south west WA, several people with a disability or mental illness have been able to start their own micro-businesses.
Enable Southwest Inc in WA runs the JUMPSTART Micro-Enterprise & Small Business Development Hub. JUMPSTART is an enterprise support hub that acts as a business incubator and gives people with a disability or mental illness the opportunity to develop, operate and possibly own their own business.
With the injection of an FRRR ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant of $10,000, the project has taken off!
Following some information and training days, 10 trading businesses or micro-enterprises have been developed, some of which include:
- Katalina’s Book Club
- Sunny in Marg’s Nursery
- Partial Art
- Darren’s Corporate Massage Therapy
- Caroline’s Coffees
Congratulations to all these businesses!
Read more ...
Powering a bright future
The School of Arts Hall in Narooma has been one of this NSW community’s most valuable assets since 1926. It’s home to the local cinema and a vital part of the local economy, attracting visitors and locals alike, and houses the community’s local history collection.
However, the costs of the electricity needed to operate the cinema meant that it was at risk of shutting down.
Despite energy audits and implementing many of the recommendations, power costs continued to remain at an unsustainable level.
However, with a $10,000 grant through the CATCH program, funded by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, the Hall Committee installed 40 10kW solar panels on the roof.
Since their installation, energy bills have dropped by 25%, helping improve the commercial viability of the town hall’s uses, most significantly as a cinema.
Read more ...
Building for success
High school students in Tasmania's Coal River Valley learnt practical construction skills, thanks to a $1,600 REAPing Rewards grant, funded by the Caledonia Foundation.
The grant enabled them to run a series of eight-week vocational Introduction to Building courses, funding the protective clothing, tools, writing materials and iPads necessary to deliver the course.
Wilson Homes collaborated with Campania District High School to provide on-site experience, with students observing as houses were constructed in a local sub-division. The students then used their new skills to build a cottage in the school grounds for the younger students to use.