Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC)

Proudly supported by
Sidney Myer Fund
Australia Post
William Buckland Foundation
RE Ross
Yulgilbar Foundation
John T Reid
Portland House Foundation
Third Link Investment Managers
Bertalli Family Foundation
Julian Flett Endowment
Scenic World Shared
David Mactaggart
Friends of FRRR
Previous funding rounds from the Small Grants for Rural Communities program

The Strengthening Rural Communities (SRC) program aims to give the thousands of small rural, regional and remote communities across Australia an opportunity to apply for funding that can support broad community needs. This program is an evolution of the long-running Small Grants for Rural Communities (SGRC) program that FRRR ran for 34 rounds over a 16 year period. 

The program criteria are deliberately flexible, and with applications being accepted all year round, communities have increased access to funds that can be used where and when a community knows it’s needed.

The Strengthening Rural Communities program has two funding tiers:

1. Small and Vital grants

Small and Vital grants are all about meeting an immediate small scale need within a community, or for giving a boost to a larger initiative.

  • The Small and Vital grants provide funds of up to $10,000.
  • Applications are accepted year round via our online application system and awarded quarterly.
2. Larger Leverage grants

Through the Larger Leverage grants, small rural, regional and remote communities now have an opportunity to access funding to support more aspirational objectives, think bigger and leverage the ideas, creativity and resources of communities for bigger impacts and stronger, more connected communities.

  • The larger leverage grants provide funds between $10,000 to $25,000.
  • Community groups will be invited to apply for the larger leverage grants from August 2019.

Projects in both tiers must clearly demonstrate a focus on one activity from the following seven activity areas. Click on the activity to reveal examples of what could be funded.

1. Building community resilience

For example, projects that facilitate community connectedness, develop leadership capacity within the community, improve local community infrastructure and meeting places, support and develop volunteer community groups, and community preparedness to natural disasters.

2. Developing organisational resilience and capacity

For example, projects that strengthen local not-for-profit organisations’ operational infrastructure, upgrading of equipment to improve service delivery, skill development of committees of management, and support for planning and sustainability.

3. Enhancing environmental sustainability

For example, projects that increase awareness of local environmental issues, provide opportunities for local residents to care for the local environment, and projects that work to restore, protect and promote the local natural environment.

4. Fostering cultural vibrancy

For example, projects that celebrate, preserve and promote local culture and identity, creative projects that foster the arts, and support for local artists and the arts community.

5. Lifelong learning and education

For example, projects that provide local residents with access to opportunities that enrich their learning and skills development, from cradle to grave.

6. Economic strength

For example, projects that create local employment and training with an employment outcome, stimulate new spending within a community or region, events that attract visitors and which can demonstrate an economic benefit as a result, and projects that attract new residents to a community or region and improve economic prosperity.

7. Improving community health and social wellbeing

For example, projects that address physical health, improved nutrition and access to fresh food and sustainable local food systems, projects that enhance mental health, and those which assist vulnerable members in communities to improve their health and wellbeing.

    Common funding outcomes

    The Strengthening Rural Communities program funds a wide range of projects such as:  

    • Repair and maintenance of small to mid-scale community infrastructure, such as public halls, preschools and recreation reserves.
    • Providing communications equipment and enhancing infrastructure and systems, especially for emergency services organisations.
    • Community events and capacity building, such as volunteer training, support and development.
    • Support for collaborative, community based arts and cultural activities that provide broad community benefit.
    • Community heritage projects such as infrastructure and equipment.
    • Community based tourism and economic development activities to support the vitality and economic sustainability for small rural communities.

    Town Map

    Our staff are happy to listen to your project ideas and provide advice on writing a strong application, as well as providing tailored feedback on applications, and leveraging our networks to refer applicants to other funding bodies.

    Applicants tell us that just having contact with FRRR staff lifts morale, encouraging them to continue their work. So please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

    ‘FRRR is a wonderful philanthropic organisation as you don’t ignore small rural organisations such as the Forcett Community Hall. We are aware that if our application is of a high standard then we have a chance of success against larger organisations. This is extremely inspirational for our group.’

    Forcett Community Hall, Small Grants applicant, Tasmania

    Priority and Eligibility

    Applications from not-for-profit organisations in communities of less than 15,000 people are prioritised, particularly communities whose size, remoteness and relative access to services, funding, and resources present particular ongoing challenges.

    Funding rounds

    The Strengthening Rural Communities program normally accepts applications year round. However, as the program has been operating for 12 months, FRRR is taking the opportunity to review it to ensure it meets needs of community groups and donor partners. The table below shows the expected dates that applications will be assessed throughout the year, and when funds will be awarded.

    Funding Tier

    Assessment Period

    Status Update

    SRC - Small & Vital
    • Applications must be received by 24 March for funds to be awarded late June
    Now open, cut off date for applications is
    24 March.
    SRC - Larger Leverage

    Applications must be received by 24 September for funds to be awarded in December.

    Opens in August.


    Applications can be made by not-for-profit community organisations in rural, regional and remote Australia that have an ABN or Incorporation Certificate. Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status is not required for this grant program.

    If you are unsure if your project is eligible, please contact us on 1800 170 020 during office hours to discuss your project idea. 

    Please check each funding round for the relevant opening and closing dates, application forms and program guideline documents.

    Case studies

    Further information

    If you have any questions after reviewing the guidelines and our tips on applying, contact us on free call 
    1800 170 020. or email

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