Investing in Rural Community Futures

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Investing in Rural Community Futures is a place-based program focused on strengthening the capacity and capability of grassroots not-for-profit organisations in rural, regional and remote New South Wales. The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) and FRRR have partnered to provide grants, along with capacity and capability development support to communities from 2018 to 2023.

Investing in Rural Community Futures recognises the fundamental role that local NFP organisations play in building and sustaining the social and economic fabric of their communities.

It responds to the challenges these groups experience in managing their sustainability and viability, and subsequently the contribution they make to addressing local challenges and opportunities.

Strategic Priorities

The strategic priorities detailed in the graphic below have been developed to address the local challenges and opportunities in each of the IRCF communities.


The IRCF program will work with selected rural communities in New South Wales by offering a toolbox of support including access to grant funding, planning and facilitation support, skill development, knowledge and experience sharing, and resources. The aim of the program is to strengthen the capacity, capability and ultimately, effectiveness of the local not-for-profit sector in supporting the vibrancy and wellbeing of their communities.

The diagram below represents FRRR’s staged delivery process to date and plans for the future:


The communities of Tumut, Leeton, Junee, Nambucca Valley, and Moree have been shortlisted as part of this process. Each community has been granted $60,000 in start-up funds to support a range of organisational capacity building projects. The successful projects are aligned to the strategic priorities of the program and were announced in August 2019. FRRR will work closely with the five communities over the coming months, supporting them in putting their successful Start-Up grants into action and in developing their Expressions of Interest to continue with the program.


The program will be formally evaluated and lessons shared with philanthropic, rural, and not-for-profit audiences to support leading practice and thought leadership. This partnership and program align directly with FRRR’s belief that local leaders are best placed to know what is going to make the biggest difference in their community.

By supporting local solutions and using a multi-faceted approach focused on enhancing people, place and prosperity, the Investing in Rural Community Futures program aims to build resilient and vibrant communities. An overall IRCF Evaluation Framework has been built to allow reflection and promote adaptive responses, so as we move through the program, we adjust to community need and allow for new solutions to local problems.

Next steps

FRRR is now inviting the five communities to participate in the Expression of Interest (EOI) process. The EOI guidelines and form are available below from the end of August through to October 2019. This process will determine the final three communities that will partner with FRRR until 2023.

The three successful communities will be announced in December 2019. FRRR will then co-design the delivery of the program with these communities. This will involve developing a community capacity plan and discussing associated resourcing and delivery needs.

Expressions of Interest

Only community organisations from the Tumut, Junee, Nambucca Valley, Leeton and Moree regions are eligible to submit an Expression of Interest in this current phase of the program.

After reading these guidelines, applicants should speak with the IRCF Program Manager Alli Mudford at FRRR if they have any queries regarding the EOI process: free call 1800 170 020 /

Expressions of Interest should be emailed to, and must be received by 5pm AEDST, Monday 28 October, 2019.

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