Can you help? More funding needed to support rural communities
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) received more than 800 applications seeking in excess of $3.4 million from its Small Grants for Small Rural Communities grants program.
This unprecedented number of applications has prompted the organisation to make a public call for funding support.
“We have typically been able to support about 130 community projects in each biannual funding round. However, this round, we have been inundated with requests and unfortunately we just don’t have that much funding,” Ms Gartmann said
“There are hundreds of very worthy projects that we simply cannot support – that’s hundreds of communities that have identified a local need and have local people and, in some cases, other funding, ready to implement their project.”
Ms Gartmann says FRRR is seeking contributions of any amount to enable it to support these projects.
“We know many people are beginning to consider their end of financial year donations. We would appreciate people including FRRR, which is a tax deductible entity, in their giving. People can fund a specific program or theme or make a general donation. Some businesses may even wish to consider becoming a long-term partner of the program. But any support would be welcome, as it’s concerning not being able to support these communities who really need help,” Ms Gartmann said.
Ms Gartmann says that it’s hard to know exactly why there are so many more requests than usual, although she suspects that it comes as a result of rural communities facing additional costs recovering from natural disasters, fewer small grants available from government and an increased demand on communities to address issues with their own resources.
“In many places, more than 10 years of drought have been followed by consecutive years of major flood events. That causes severe hardship to the entire community and means that these normally resourceful and very generous communities are just not able to support themselves,” Ms Gartmann explained.