Our mission is to champion the economic and social strength of Australia’s rural, regional and remote communities through partnerships with the private sector, philanthropy and governments.
The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is a not-for-profit organisation that harnesses the power of collective investment between government, business and philanthropy to improve the lives of those living in rural, regional and remote Australia.
Our vision is for vibrant, sustainable and adaptive communities across rural, regional and remote Australia.
We strongly believe that local people are best-placed to know what is going to work best in their communities, so we focus on helping communities address local opportunities and challenges, to deal with factors of distance and service access and to maintain and build community cohesion and strength.
Since being established in 2000, FRRR has distributed more than $75M to around 8,000 projects across rural, regional and remote Australian communities. Those funds have focused on enabling communities to respond to the needs of their:
- People, by developing healthy, connected, skilled communities and individuals;
- Place, by building vibrant cultures, healthy environments, sustainable social and physical infrastructure; and
- Prosperity, by supporting sustainable, viable and adaptive local economies that are inclusive and provide opportunities for economic participation and financial wellbeing.
FRRR is the only national organisation offering small, discretionary funds to small regional communities across Australia. We are both a grant maker and a grant seeker - distributing funds through a number of programs for the benefit of rural and regional Australia. We play a critical role as a connector, working across the philanthropic sector as a conduit for philanthropy to rural communities. We work hard to identify the ways that philanthropy can best support communities – cutting out the noise and deepening the focus to understand what will really make a difference.
What makes us different?
As the only Australian organisation offering small, discretionary grants, we are an important conduit for philanthropy to rural and regional communities. The collaborative approach we take is also quite unique, allowing groups with a common interest to leverage their investment.
Our work has both a national reach and local focus and is informed by place-based approaches to community development and the close relationships and networks we have built.
We operate with a holistic focus on strengthening people, place and prosperity within local communities.
We strongly believe that community members are best-placed to understand community needs, wants and aspirations and we advocate community based solutions for community issues. Strong community leadership and the enabling and leveraging of existing strengths and assets drives communities to be self-sustaining, resilient and adaptable to economic, social, cultural and environmental changes.
Our programs and support are evidence-based; driven by data and insights, and balanced by experience and needs identified at the local level within communities.
Our tax status also makes us unique: as an Item 1 DGR entity (see ATO endorsement), FRRR is able to receive funds from Item 2 DGR entities as we are covered by Subdivision 30-B of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and we are specifically listed as a recipient for deductible gifts under section 30-105.
Due to these broad powers, there is no need for the organisation receiving a grant from FRRR to be a deductible gift recipient under tax law, however their project must be charitable, promote rural and regional renewal, regeneration and development, and be approved by FRRR.
FRRR can also receive donations from non-charitable organisations and provide tax deductible receipts; these funds are received into the FRRR Public Fund.
The way we work
Our efforts are focused on supporting creative and innovative community leaders, providing resources for projects and programs that create the changes communities aspire to achieve. We do this by assisting communities in rural, regional and remote Australia in three ways:
Providing funding, and occasionally in-kind resources, to help community groups undertake the projects they determine are important to local success.
We collaborate with other philanthropic organisations, government departments and corporations to fund not-for-profit community organisations across a range of areas including:
- Building community resilience & capacity;
- Developing organisational resilience & capacity;
- Supporting lifelong learning / education / training;
- Acting on environmental challenges;
- Contributing to a culturally vibrant community;
- Building economic strength & sustainability; and
- Promoting individual & community health & wellbeing.
Where we cannot fund a project, either through lack of funds or because it is beyond our scope, we will endeavour to either refer the project to another funder (so we act as a 'clearing house') or to refer the applicant to other sources of funding. Learn about our range of grant programs.
Strengthening regional capacity for growth, development and adjustment through the voice of the communities themselves.
We also provide facilitation services to assist groups to lead and face change so that regional and local communities can choose paths to their futures.
We are also able to leverage our tax-deductible status to community organisations so as to help them undertake their own fundraising activities, as well as hold funds on behalf of community organisations through our various Fundraising Accounts.
We work closely with communities so they can better help themselves. We do this by building local capacity in leadership and governance of NFPs, as well as providing support for Community Foundations as they get off the ground and become sustainable.
Using our knowledge and understanding of rural, regional and remote issues, and our extensive networks to increase awareness of those issues and drive change that delivers maximum benefit.
Theory of Change
A review of FRRR’s 17 years of grant-making activity supported the articulation of FRRR’s theory of change and focus areas. A number of community consultations and deep dives into issues and places also informed the theory of change and reinforced the multi-faceted long-term value of the role and type of support that FRRR provides.
Our goal is to enable rural and regional communities to respond to the needs of:
- their PEOPLE - to develop healthy, connected, skilled communities and individuals;
- their PLACE - to build vibrant cultures, healthy environments, sustainable social and physical infrastructure; and
- their PROSPERITY - to support sustainable, viable and adaptive local economies that are inclusive and provide opportunities for economic participation and financial wellbeing.
Our role has been to help FACILITATE community engagement and planning, REMEDIATE and MAINTAIN community assets, RESOURCE and SCAFFOLD community action and help communities to INNOVATE.
Our approach has been to do that by investing in infrastructure and equipment, building organisational capability, developing individual and community awareness, knowledge and skills and providing access to services / activities to help meet community aspirations and needs.
Our focus has been on:
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We believe that supporting these things will help to create vibrant, adaptive and sustainable rural, regional and remote communities. The specific outcomes we strive for are:
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Purpose and objectives
FRRR’s strategy is focused on enabling communities to build their social capital and economic resilience; by engaging and providing resources for projects that create the change that communities aspire to achieve.
Through this approach, we aim to:
- Promote, for the public benefit, rural renewal, regeneration and development in Australia in social, economic, environmental and cultural areas.
- Add value to the work of rural organisations to resolve regional development issues at a national and local level.
- Strengthen regional capacity for growth, development and adjustment in the context of national and global change.
- Develop new ideas and methods through thinking, researching, debating, testing and informing to address issues facing regional and rural Australia.
- Strengthen the regional and rural voice to ensure vigorous regional and rural participation in national growth and development.
- Provide facilitation services to assist groups to lead and face change so that regional and local communities can choose paths to their futures.
- Raise money and other resources (both tax deductible and non-tax deductible) for the operation of the national body and the funding of national services and programs to resource rural Australia.
- Raise money and other resources (both tax deductible and non-tax deductible) for direct use by regions for projects and/or seed funding for local capacity building and funding bodies.
- Provide expertise and support to local and regional bodies to assist them to raise funds for local capacity building projects and initiatives.
Values and aspirations
FRRR works hard to be a credible, independent, equitable, leading, advocating, leveraging, transforming, innovative, rigorous and reputable organisation.
We aspire to:
- Empower rural, regional and remote Australia to reduce their social, economic and educational disadvantage;
- Engage with government, business and philanthropy to provide programs which meet the needs of rural and remote Australian communities;
- Learn from reflection and process improvement to maintain best practice, community-led initiatives;
- Encourage innovation and creativity, and provide a voice for rural, regional and remote Australians; and
- Achieve best practice in our grant making and grant seeking.
These values and aspirations govern every aspect of our work – from the staff we employ, to the partners we work with and the grants we make.