Grants for communities
Working with donor partners to create impact through grant programs
Fundraising in small communities is hard - especially when you overlay natural disasters like floods, fires or drought. Sustainable revenue sources are limited and unreliable, so grant funding is a necessary part of community planning. Grant funds can be the difference between a community surviving and being positioned to thrive.
Despite the challenges, most community groups are incredibly resourceful and a small act of generosity can kick-start their project or fill the shortfall after local fundraising options are exhausted.
FRRR’s small team manages the administration of all our grant programs, which are split into three streams:
Some of the programs within these streams are collaboratively funded, others are named programs, which we administer on behalf of a specific donor partner. In addition, FRRR can support donors to make one-off (or recurring) tailored grants that align with their giving preferences.
Supporters are encouraged to consider giving to FRRR’s Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program. It is our most broad and flexible program, and makes grants to communities quarterly. SRC has two tiers: Small and Vital, providing grants up to $10,000; and Larger Leverage, providing biannual grants between $10,000 and $25,000. These grants can support just about every community need – from education and health, to the arts, infrastructure or economic development.
In providing any of these grant administration services, it is important to note that FRRR is not a donor advised foundation and as such, donors can state their preferences, but can’t make recommendations to FRRR’s committee or Board.
"FRRR has a unique ability to enable our clients to support small, grassroots organisations working to improve resilience in their communities, where they may otherwise struggle."
Peter Winneke - Former Head of Philanthropic Services, The Myer Family Company
FRRR has a strong understanding of the evolving issues and challenges facing rural and regional communities, and we specialise in delivering collaboratively-funded programs that address issues ranging from education to the environment, arts to ageing, and economic empowerment. Many donors have common areas of interest in the issues and communities they wish to support and can see the value in pooling their resources to fund grant programs, often improving reach and impact on the ground, whilst collectively sharing highlights and lessons learnt with leading philanthropic and corporate partners.
FRRR designs and manages the collaboratively-funded programs. Ten per cent of donated funds are utilised by FRRR to support the following:
- Grant administration, including communications, fielding enquiries, assessment and database management;
- Donor engagement, reporting and communicating project updates;
- Marketing and promotion;
- Community engagement; and
- Community capacity building support – conversations and tools.
If a higher level of engagement is required, or a more tailored approach such as developing and managing a named program, a scope of work at an hourly rate will be agreed with the donor.
Another way FRRR can work with a donor is in a strategic partnership. These partnerships involve a joint effort to respond to a key issue or challenge that calls for a step-change solution around a common area of interest. FRRR and the donor will design and often pilot a solution to help communities address a particular challenge.
For example, in 2013 FRRR worked closely with the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation to determine the best way to support communities affected by the ongoing drought in Queensland and northern New South Wales. This resulted in the Tackling Tough Times Together program. Similarly, we have worked with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) to develop the Investing in Rural Community Futures program, which is a place-based program focused on strengthening the capacity and capability of grassroots not-for-profit organisations in New South Wales.
For donors that want to establish a named grant program, FRRR can support you in a number of ways. There are three different models for how we can work with our donor partners, providing varying levels of engagement to support you with your grants program. Fees are based upon the scope of work involved in the program and charged at a modest hourly rate.
1. Full Service
- FRRR manages all aspects of the grant program for you, including all promotion of the program, as well as grant-seeker enquiries, ongoing communications and reporting. We appoint a dedicated program manager and operate the program alongside our other programs.
2. Grants Administration
- This model involves the donor leading the design of the program with FRRR's support, and FRRR helping with the administration of the grant program, including program finances, grant dispersal with grant packs, grantee final reports and evaluation. Promotion of the program rests with the donor.
3. Grants Advisory
- Under this model, FRRR plays more of an advisory role, often when an organisation has established a Giving Sub-Fund Account to structure its own grants in partnership with FRRR. The Grants Advisory service includes an allocation of time for FRRR staff to review and provide input into program design and development, but involves limited administrative operation of the program.
Tailored Grants are one-off grants made in partnership with donors, targeted to specific activities, causes or locations and occur outside FRRR’s regular programs or grant rounds.
In these situations, FRRR can act as a connector between rural community projects and donors, managing a grant in partnership with a donor for a specific purpose. Review the Tailored Grants page for more detail about how these operate.
If you have any questions about how FRRR can support you and your granting activities, please contact FRRR's CEO.