New donors mean more funds for rural communities

More than $525,000 in grants available

Bendigo, 13 August 2018: The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) is offering more than $525,000 for grants to rural, regional and remote communities to address local community priorities.

CFA Yambuk

Generous support from more than 15 partners, including new or returning donors Australia Post, Portland House Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and Sidney Myer Fund, means that more community groups nationwide will be able to apply for up to $5,000 to support projects that strengthen their community. Priority will be given to towns of 10,000 people or fewer.

Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR, says that the Small Grants for Rural Communities program is deliberately flexible to enable local leaders to apply for funds to address their greatest needs.

“Rural, regional and remote communities are incredible places to live, work and raise families. However population size, distance, and remoteness also present challenges and in some cases, greater disadvantage than their urban counterparts.

“Communities with strong local leaders, access to relevant health programs and services, and support services for the most vulnerable and marginalised are critical to strengthening and sustaining these communities.

“This additional support from our donor partners will mean that more of the thousands of applications we receive each year will be able to receive funding to help them create and sustain vibrant rural communities.”

Ms Egleton says that while the program will remain as flexible as ever, the extra funds mean that money is available to support specific areas that have not had much support in recent years.

“One of the most under-funded areas that we uncovered in a recent review of FRRR’s Impact over the past 16 years was support to strengthen the resilience and capacity of local, often volunteer-led, non-profit organisations. We are delighted that Australia Post has responded to this gap and provided funds that will go toward supporting leadership development and capacity building of rural, regional and remote communities.

Australia Post Head of Strategic Partnerships and Programs, Catherine McKean, said the organisation is pleased to help empower local leaders build more vibrant and inclusive communities.

“Over our long history, our social purpose and commitment to building connections and creating opportunities for every Australian has remained the same.

“We appreciate how important it is for rural, regional, and remote organisations to have the right leadership capability to help form communities where everyone feels they belong, are valued and respected,” said Ms McKean.

Another area that will receive more focus is health and wellbeing, thanks to the John T Reid Charitable Trusts. A long-term partner, this year FRRR was the recipient of a 60th Anniversary grant to help improve health and wellbeing outcomes in rural, regional and remote communities.

Chairman of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts, Belinda Lawson, explains they chose to work with FRRR because of its reach into small communities.

“We have supported FRRR for many years and seen first-hand the difference small grants can make. The Trustees prioritise projects that build local capacity at a grassroots level; we wanted to ensure that no matter how isolated they are, rural communities have the opportunity to access funds to sustain local food systems, improve food security and support improved prosperity and health and wellbeing standards.”

The new donors join David Mactaggart Foundation, Hannaford, Kapikarnpi Community Fund, Scenic World Shared, The Bertalli Family Foundation, The Julian Flett Endowment, The R.E. Ross Trust, The Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, various Friends of FRRR, William Buckland Foundation and Yulgilbar Foundation.

Applications close on 26 September 2018. For examples of the full range of things that might be funded, and to see if your organisation is eligible for funding visit the Small Grants page on the FRRR website.

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