Investing in Rural Community Futures - VFFF

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Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) aims to strengthen local not-for-profit organisations and ultimately, enable them to thrive.

The IRCF program is based on the belief that local leaders are best placed to know what is going to make the biggest difference in their community and for their organisational sustainability. By supporting local solutions using a multi-faceted approach, our aim is to build resilient and strong communities.

The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and FRRR have partnered with three communities in NSW - Junee, Nambucca Valley and Leeton - to provide support from 2018 until 2023, which includes access to grant funding, planning and facilitation assistance, skill development, and experience sharing.

FRRR is working in tandem with the local NFPs in these communities, to help them identify where they need support.

To date the program has supported projects that will help improve organisational systems, access to skills and training, developing fundraising strategies, communication through a range of digital platforms and strategic planning.

The aim is to give these NFPs the confidence, ability and skills to continue the great work they do on an ongoing basis.

The IRCF journey

During 2018/19, we focused on identifying and selecting three partner communities in NSW, which are Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley. We started 2020 with moving into the co-design phase, working alongside the communities to develop their community roadmaps (capacity plans) and identifying associated resourcing and delivery needs, focused on the IRCF strategic priorities. See the journey map below.


Each community on the IRCF journey is very different with its challenges, unique personalities and the depth and breadth of not-for-profits that work within its boundaries. FRRR recognises it is fundamental to have a local contact on the ground, and we believe that local leaders know their environment and community better than we ever could. Therefore, we are currently in the process of employing local community facilitators to help assist in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects suggested as part of the community roadmap work.

Ongoing Partnership Grants are now open and close at 5pm AEST, Friday 12 June 2020.

Support is also being provided through a rolling grant program that is open to individual organisations and collective initiatives – the second tranche of this funding is open for applications from 11 May until 12 June 2020.

FRRR uses an online grants administration system. Applications for Round 2 of the IRCF VFFF Ongoing Partnership Grants program will be submitted via FRRR's Grants Gateway online portal. Please read the How-To Guide and the Grants Gateway FAQs to get you started. 

Only community organisations from Junee, Leeton and Nambucca Valley are eligible to apply for grants under the IRCF program.

If your project is eligible, a link to FRRR's online application portal Grants Gateway will then be sent to you to begin your application. Each region will have its own secure link to Grants Gateway.

For more information on submitting your application via FRRR's online application portal Grants Gateway, please refer to the following documents:

Applicants should also consult their relevant community roadmap while preparing their application:

After reading these guidelines, applicants should speak with the local IRCF facilitator in your region as the first point of contact before submitting an application:
Area Facilitator Contact Details
Junee Cahli Wall 0434 934 626  |
Nambucca Valley

Patricia Walker

Nancy Sposato

0429 611 822  |

0438 369 836  |

Leeton Claire Williams 0429 092 165  |

      Our IRCF partners

      Following a comprehensive Expression of Interest process, the communities of Leeton, Nambucca Valley and Junee in New South Wales are partnering with FRRR in the IRCF program from 2018-2023.


      Leeton has a strong and diverse NFP sector, with a population of more than 8,000 people in the heart of the Riverina. By participating in the IRCF program, Leeton's NFPs hope to create more connection between their groups and networks, build the capacity of their leaders through training and development, and revitalise their community sector. The NFP sector in Leeton has come together as ‘Leeton Connect’, an umbrella group that will connect the Leeton NFPs through networking, participation, collaboration and inclusion.

      The Leeton community road map (capacity plan) is currently being finalised, and we will soon be in a position to recruit a community facilitator.


      Nambucca Valley

      The communities of Nambucca Heads, Bowraville, Macksville, Valla Beach, and Scotts Head make up the Nambucca Valley. The combined population of these communities, which are in the mid-north coast of NSW, is more than 20,000. The Nambucca Valley NFPs want to build relationships, connect across the Valley, and work together on developing a community map, a shared vision for the Valley.

      We are excited to announce the recruitment of two community coordinators.

      If you are an NFP situated in Nambucca Valley and would like to find out more about the IRCF program and how you could potentially be involved then please contact your facilitator.


      A satellite town close to Wagga Wagga, Junee has a population of just over 6,500 people and is growing. It has a diverse NFP sector, which has embraced the IRCF program and are ready to see a change for their community. They want to strengthen the NFP organisations by providing a co-ordinated focus on improving the long-term sustainability of their groups and networks.

      The Junee community road map (capacity plan) is currently being finalised, and if you want to get involved, please contact your facilitator.

      Start-Up grant recipients

      As part of the process of determining the long-term partners for this program, Tumut, Leeton, Junee, Nambucca Valley, and Moree received $60,000 in start-up grants in August 2019 to support a range of organisational capacity building projects. The funds had the purpose of enabling the community NFPs to work collaboratively and be in a position to submit an Expression of Interest to part of the long-term support element of the program.

      Despite not being part of the longer-term program, FRRR continues to work with the communities of Tumut and Moree to make the most of their start up grants.

      Learn more

      For more information on the Investing in Rural Communities Program, please contact IRCF Program Manager Allison Mudford on 0448 992 820, or via email, or IRCF Program Officer Tony Norman on 1800 170 020 or via email.


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