FRRR’s all-female team recognises 2017 International Women’s Day

International Women's Day Logo

FRRR’s all-female team may be small in number but they are making a big, bold impact and helping to facilitate change in rural, regional and remote communities. They truly are a lean, efficient, funding machine! Since we were established in 2000 we’ve distributed over $66m to more than 8,000 community projects around Australia.

We are lucky to work with incredibly bold, creative and resilient women across small rural communities and many would say, the local women are keeping our small communities vibrant and sustainable.

On International Women’s Day - #beboldforchange - we asked one of FRRR’s all-female team about what it’s like to work for FRRR, and how she’s found the move to working in philanthropy.

 

 

Jacki Dimond with Colin Cedric & Ross Andrews from Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

Meet Jacki Dimond – FRRR’s newest Program Manager

Jacki Dimond joined the FRRR team at the end of May, 2016. Her role is Program Manager for QLD, NSW and ACT.

Jacki, give us a quick snapshot on your background?

I grew up in Victoria. Most of my childhood was in Hamilton, a rural town in the West, however my family also spent some time living in Melbourne and Geelong. When it came time to study, I realised I’d developed a connection with regional Victoria and I moved to Bendigo to study. 

I worked for Members of Parliament throughout my studies and was lucky to get a role at the office of the Federal Member for Bendigo when I graduated. 

How did you come to work with FRRR?

When I saw the role with FRRR, I thought philanthropy could be an interesting next step. I’ve always had a drive to contribute to the communities where I live, but it wasn’t until I engaged with philanthropy, that I realised it was something I had done all my life. 

For me, this involved giving my time to volunteer for community based causes, buying raffle tickets, making a small annual donation to a charity and even purchasing products which resulted in a philanthropic contribution.

What does your role entail at FRRR?

There’s not really a “typical day” in the office at FRRR. I oversee all our programs across NSW, QLD & ACT and a grant’s life cycle is a varied process that includes overall program planning and review, communications and liaising with donors and Assessment Committees.  So each day is different, which I enjoy.

There is a large component of ‘behind the scenes’ work which goes into processing applications, payments and often agreements.  I love working with grant applicants to refine their ideas for projects and developing their applications.  Right now I am working with a lot of applicants to the Small Grants for Rural Communities program, which is currently open. 

Since joining the NFP industry, what have been your biggest learnings?

It amazes me what small teams like FRRR can achieve with such limited resources!

FRRR has a team of 14 women, many who work part-time, in our Bendigo office and in the 2015/16 Financial Year, we assessed close to 1,500 grant applications, supported 583 projects and distributed $6.4million in funding. Wow! That was on top of providing advice and support over the phone, hosting workshops and collaborating with our generous donor partners to develop our grant programs.

The other great eye opener for me has been that I’m better able to recognise philanthropy in my own life and I’m especially proud each time I witness it.  Whether it be someone’s coin donation to an artist on a footpath, or contributing online to Crowdfunding – people are enormously generous. 

If someone was to ask you who they should donate to and why – what research would you encourage them to do?

The most important thing is knowing where your money actually goes.  There are pretty tight requirements for charities to report on what percentage of their incoming fees are utilised for administration, and what portion ends up getting paid out of the charity.  So I recommend that people look into this.  At FRRR, we average 10% for our administration costs, which is at the lower end of the market.

I also encourage people to consider what issues matter most to them.  If you find a cause close to your heart, you can make a bigger difference giving to one charity than giving coin donations here and there throughout the year.

Why do you enjoy working for FRRR?

Philanthropy is an exciting industry to work in. It is both proactive in its thinking and reactive, and there are many different ways to approach it.  For example, we support communities both in natural disaster preparation and recovery.

From large organisations to small families who give, all donors want to contribute to a better world and the people who work in this area are committed to achieving that in the best way they can. 

I love that FRRR’s remit is so broad; that we can work with donors to provide assistance to all areas of need in regional, rural and remote communities in creative ways.  Our Small Grants for Rural Communities program is particularly special.  It’s been running for 16 years now, and we’re able to reach grant seekers right across the country. 

What motivates you about working with rural communities?

Passion is infectious and I love that we can foster local creativity. We know that people in regional Australia innovate differently and accept that what works well for one group may not work well in another. We aren’t prescriptive in how we want community groups to work, so it’s great to be able to help them solve challenges that their community is facing. The men and women that I talk to every day know their communities and what is going to work best, and I’m proud that we can support those efforts.

In 60 words, why should people support FRRR?

FRRR has a unique structure, it allows us to charge donors low administration fees and provide grants and donation accounts to almost any community group working on a charitable project in rural, regional and remote Australia. We also offer great support service for applicants, useful resources on our website and hands-on advice for local groups to develop their projects.

Any final words?

#beboldforchange for women and improving services and support for rural communities in 2017!

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