Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

FRRR receives enquiries about our grant programs on a daily basis. We have collated answers to some that we receive most often and these are listed below.

If you still need assistance after reading the information on this site, please call us on 1800 170 020.

Grant applications

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.

All of the grant programs that are currently receiving applications are detailed on our Grant Calendar. The grant calendar provides a summary of each grant that is currently open, and status updates for those that have recently closed. 

How do I apply for a grant?

Our Grant Calendar allows you to check the current status of each grant to see what 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 grant'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.

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.
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 grant'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:
 
  1. Start your application now! Don’t leave it to the last moment. Write a draft and ask someone else to review it.
  2. Make sure you answer the question that has been asked, and be clear, simple and focused in your answers.
  3. Demonstrate the community need for your project, and the broader community benefit.
  4. Make sure your budget is detailed and balanced (and includes in-kind support or other sources of funding if relevant).
  5. We strongly recommend that you include supporting material to strengthen your application.
What kind of supporting documentation is required?
FRRR requires all applicant organisations to provide copies of their most recent financial statements. The level of detail will depend on the legal status of the organisation.

Letters of support are an effective way to demonstrate community need and benefit, however it is important to limit the number of additional attachments for a small grant request.

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:

Local Government
  • Contact your local Council for more information.
State Government
  • Contact your local Member for more information.
Federal GovernmentPhilanthropy
  • 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 is transitioning to an online grants application portal called Grants Gateway. In the meantime however, and if the program specifies, applications may be handwritten, typed or word-processed.
Is there a word limit?
There are certain word limits within the Grants Gateway system, but keeping it simple means you stay to the point and complete the application faster! You can write in sentences or use dot points. Lengthy applications are not necessarily better applications.
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 successful with 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.
Is there a minimum amount to apply for?
No there isn’t. 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 regional 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 to 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.
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 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.

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 8 – 12 weeks from the closing date.
Why did my project receive part funding?
Part funding is most often awarded in the Small Grants for Rural Communities program as demand for funds exceeds the amount we have available to distribute.

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 :
  • No other funding or in-kind support was documented.
  • 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.  
  • The benefit population was broad and not rural / regional specific (would equally benefit residents of regional and capital cities). In this case, part funding may have been recommended to cover the portion of the project undertaken in small communities. 
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.

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 and should clearly indicate which other local organisations are involved.

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 8 to 12 weeks to process applications. If our website has announced the successful applicants to the program you applied for, then please 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. Similarly, we often receive applications for sporting equipment or facilities that do not explain the benefit to the wider community.
  • The grant is not critical to the success of the project (the project would most likely go ahead regardless).
  • The project is of a lower priority when compared with other applications, based on a variety of factors such as demonstrated level of need or community impact. 
  • The application is incomplete or seemingly rushed, and / or financial information is lacking, especially in regard to budgets.
  • Multiple applications are received from the one organisation or one community - when this happens, preference is usually given to the best fit with the grant criteria, with priority often given to the applications outlining the most community benefit.
  • Multiple applications are received with a similar focus – we attempt to recommend projects across all categories and types of organisation.
  • 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.
  • The organisation has not acquitted previous FRRR funding.
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. Our receptionist can put you through to the Program Manager you need.

Anything else?

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.

 

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