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Newsletter | June 2017

A word from the CEO

As the end of financial year comes to a close, we are working hard to finalise the assessment of nearly 650 applications to 10 programs that have closed in the last couple of months. At the same time, we are preparing to open another 8 programs in the next few weeks, so it really is all systems go.

FRRR Board at breakfast in Toowoomba

Alongside that core activity, we have been spending time both with donors and with community groups. A highlight this month was a visit to Toowoomba. Before the Board’s June meeting, we hosted a breakfast for around 60 local business and community leaders to tell them about what FRRR does and how we might be able to partner with them. We then did a road-trip through southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, covering around 800 kilometres in three days, visiting a number of projects we’ve funded along the way. It was fantastic to see the impact of these grants, like the PRAMS project below.

Gunnedah grant seeker workshop

We also hosted two grant-seeker workshops in Goondiwindi and Gunnedah, to ensure that the local community knows what we’ll be looking for when the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program opens on Friday.

I’m really excited that we are very close to piloting our new online application portal. As you’ll read below, we're taking applications via the portal for the CARA program, and will gradually use it for other programs over the next few months. This is a very exciting milestone for FRRR and one that has taken a lot of work from the team, especially Sylvia Perez, who has been leading this project internally. It’s been informed by the work we’ve been doing to evaluate and understand more about the impact we’ve had from the projects we have funded over the last 17 years, and you’ll hear more about what we’ve learnt in the new financial year.

I want to close by thanking everyone who has donated to FRRR over the last few weeks. We are delighted to have several long-term donor partners recommit to working with us, including, Perpetual who are supporting our Small Grants for Rural Communities program. I also want to acknowledge the important contributions of the many individual donors who have also made donations. Your support is greatly appreciated by both FRRR and those that hold accounts with FRRR to help them fundraise. As you may have read in a recent LinkedIn post I made, for those who are yet to make a contribution, I can assure you your support would go to very good use.

Until next time …

Natalie Egleton
Chief Executive Officer

Grant applications start moving online

Grant applications

As we’ve mentioned previously, FRRR will soon start accepting applications for grants via an online portal. Moving to this web-based system will make it more efficient for us to process the increasing number of applications we receive each year. It will also help us more efficiently analyse the grants that we make, and the requests we receive, so we can give our donor partners more insights into our impact, and areas of need in rural, regional and remote communities.

The new system will eventually be used to manage all applications for all programs. We are piloting the system with the Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) program. All other programs that open soon will use the same system that we normally use – i.e. a Word-based application form that you email or post to us.

Applicants to the CARA program will still need to read the guidelines on FRRR’s website, but then instead of downloading a form, you will log into the new system and apply online, uploading supporting information along with your application. There will be materials available to support you, including Frequently Asked Questions and a tip Sheet – and of course the FRRR team will also be here to answer questions. If your group can’t access the internet, contact FRRR to discuss how you can apply.

The implementation of this new system has generously been supported by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

New fundraising accounts from FRRR

Red Earth workshop

FRRR’s special status allows us to leverage our tax status to help approved initiatives attract tax-deductible donations for a wide range of purposes that benefit rural, regional and remote communities. However, a recent review of our Donation Account service found some confusion about which account should be used by which organisation and for which purpose.

So, we are making some changes to better reflect their purpose and align to users’ needs. These changes take effect from 1 July, 2017.

While the essence of the accounts remain the same, our donation accounts will have names that more clearly reflect their purpose and the groups that use them, as follows:

  • Not-for-Profit Fundraising Accounts – used by community groups to raise funds for community projects.
  • Community Foundation Accounts – used by Community Foundations, no matter what they are fundraising for.
  • Giving Sub-Fund Accounts – used by donors.

More information about these accounts will be available from 1 July under a new Services section of FRRR’s website. This will also include information about other ways that FRRR can support the sector, including providing support to donors in running grant programs and working with corporates on their CSR planning. In the meantime, if you have questions, contact our Philanthropic Services Manager, Sophie Burke on 03 5430 2399.

Programs Update

It’s an exciting time for grant seekers as we prepare to offer more than $1 million in funding through various grant programs, thanks to our generous donor partners. These programs provide vital funds to help local leaders implement local solutions to local problems. Check out the listing below to see what your community group could apply for:

In case you missed it, we announced the recipients of the John Wallis Foundation Small Grants program, which is supported by FRRR via a hosted fundraising account. This was the first year that we helped out with the assessment process, which resulted in 23 projects across Australia sharing $61,843 to support capacity building within communities to be better able to deal with disadvantage and to strengthen leadership.

In early July, we’ll announce recipients of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Working in Dairy Communities Small Grants recipients. And we’re getting very close to announcing the recipients of the last round of Small Grants for Rural Communities. So make sure you follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks to all who have donated

Thank you

As the end of financial year approaches, we have seen many generous donors making contributions to FRRR and many of the projects and initiatives supported via our fundraising accounts service. Thank you to everyone who has made a donation – your support is greatly appreciated by us, and by the communities it will benefit.

For anyone still considering whether to do so, we would greatly appreciate your support. We are a safe, reliable and efficient organisation and we can reach groups in regional areas that many other charities can’t support.

ACNC Registered Charity logo

There has been some focus recently in the media on donations not going where they are intended. We want to reassure all our donors that more than 90% of all funds donated to FRRR go directly to communities. We fund most of our day-to-day costs – staff wages, office rent and utility bills, marketing materials, website costs etc - from our investments and other activities such as consulting. However, we take a small fee from donations to help cover the costs of administering our programs, including assessing the thousands of applications we receive each year. We waive those fees on some programs, such as the Back to School program, where 100% of all donations go directly to vouchers.

If you ever have any questions about the way we operate, please get in touch with us.

So whatever it is that you are passionate about, if you have a connection to rural, regional and remote Australia, please consider supporting FRRR this EOFY.

In the media

Biliblanket for babies in Gunnedah

PRAMS biliblanket at Gunnedah Hospital

A $5,000 grant from the Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program, funded by the Monsanto Fund, helped the Gunnedah Hospital in north-eastern New South Wales tick another item off their wishlist.

Local not-for-profit organisation, PRAMS, was able to donate a Biliblanket to the maternity ward to deliver phototherapy to babies suffering from jaundice.

The Namoi Valley Independent reported that the $8,000 portable phototherapy system means the baby can stay with its mother while receiving treatment, which is important in establishing first contact. The grant to PRAMS came about as a local cotton grower nominated the organisation for an Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant last year.

The 2017 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities program opens 30 June.

Philanthropy and government working together – I4CI in focus

RYSS Youth Bus - supported by an I4CI project

Generosity Magazine recently reported on the Innovation for Community Impact (I4CI) program, exploring how the partnerships between philanthropy, local communities and government have evolved over the three years that the program has been running.

I4CI tackles some of New South Wales’ most pressing social issues across ten local government areas. To date, the program has granted almost $800,000 towards 22 projects, valued at nearly $1.5 million. These projects are diverse in the issues they are tackling and the solutions they’re fostering.

This article highlighted some of the outcomes achieved at a grass-roots level, as well as some lessons learnt along the way. Read the full article here.

Handy tip for community groups

Great DIY design tool - CANVA

Guide to using CANVA

Have you heard of Canva? It is a very nifty online tool that can turn the daunting task of ‘visual marketing’ - from creating a Facebook cover photo for your group’s page to designing a flyer for your local fundraiser - into a simple task with attractive results!

We recommend you start a free account, check out this beginners guide, and have a play. You’ll find plenty of wisdom at Canva’s ‘Design School’ too.



  1. A word from the CEO  
  2. Online grant applications  
  3. Philanthropic Services  
  4. EOFY giving  
  5. Programs update  
  6. In the media  
  7. Community tips  
  8. Grants in action:
- Oodnadatta, SA;
- Regional WA;
- Croydon, QLD;
- Yarram, VIC

Grants in action

Oodnadatta's Arts and Crafts Collective

Oodnadatta women on the Exposure Tour

Oodnadatta is a very remote community more than 1,000 km north of Adelaide in South Australia. In 2012, Indigenous volunteers worked with local Indigenous women to extensively renovate the town's Women's Shed for creative endeavours, including painting, sewing, knitting and jewellery-making.

The women have since identified an opportunity to create a micro business at the Shed, making products to sell to tourists.

Volunteering SA and NT received a $10,000 ANZ Seeds of Renewal grant to develop the women-led arts and crafts social enterprise, through research, the creation of an action plan, delivering training and purchasing the materials to set up the business at the renovated Women’s Shed in Oodnadatta.

Overall, the project has allowed Aboriginal women to come together, with the guidance of experts, to dream and explore the possibilities for themselves and their community.

Read more ...

Combining Art and Dementia in WA

National Gallery of Australia's Art & Alzheimers outreach program

The Art and Dementia Outreach Program is an initiative run by the National Gallery of Australia, which builds on the experience and success of the Canberra Art and Dementia program.

With a $5,450 grant from FRRR’s Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) program, funded by the McCusker Charitable Foundation, staff from three regional galleries in Western Australia participated in the hands-on workshop designed to prepare participants to implement a self-sustaining, effective and community enhancing treatment for people living with dementia in the community.

All three regional galleries have now implemented their own art and dementia programs.

This program has proven to be a wonderful way to involve different parts of the community with art, and build a social connection and local outing for people living with dementia, including patients, family and friends.

Read more ...

Croydon's 'Drought Breaker' event

Croydon's Drought Breaker event

In 2015, Croydon and the surrounding communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria were in the grips of a devastating drought, after three consecutive years of failed wet seasons. Local cattleman, Geoff Seccombe, rallied members of the local Rodeo and Campdrafting Association to put together a ‘Drought Breaker’ event over the Easter long weekend in 2015.

With a $45,000 Tackling Tough Times Together grant, courtesy of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, and with just three months lead time, the Croydon Rodeo and Campdraft Association was able to pull off a very ambitious project.

It was a mix of fun activities, including a cricket match and a concert with a number of local and nationally renowned performers, and speakers on more serious topics, including motivation and mental health.

“The impact of the event was huge and will continue in people’s memories for many years to come,” Geoff said.

Read more ...

Musical playground fosters togetherness

Yarram's musical playground

Music crosses all genders, ages, disabilities and cultures, helping people to express themselves, improve cognitive skills and encourage social interaction. 

The Yarram Recreation Reserve Committee of Management wanted to create an outdoor learning space to cater to the diversity of users and encourage visitors to the area.

With a $60,000 Tailored Grant received from a very generous private donor, they were able to create an outdoor musical playground to provide a stimulating learning space for children, older people, people with a disability, and families with children using the new community facility.

The playground has proven very popular, and has also attracted some media attention, drawing visitors from interstate, giving a boost to the area.

Read more ...

The FRRR Mission is

"to champion the economic and social strength of Australia's regional, rural & remote communities through partnerships with the private sectors, philanthropy and governments."



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Tel: 03 5430 2399
Grants: 1800 170 020
Fax: 03 5443 8900
Email: info@frrr.org.au