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FRRR will be running a special stream of SRC, starting from September 2020.

If you need assistance sooner,
email us.

Proudly supported by:
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William Buckland Foundation
Yulgilbar Foundation
John T Reid
Portland House Foundation
Bertalli Family Foundation
Julian Flett Endowment
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Strengthening Rural Communities

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 & Vital grants

Small & 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 & 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 tier is focussed on supporting two types of projects:

a) Projects delivered in remote or very remote communities;
b) Projects that require more financial support in order to enhance the community or organisational capacity and accelerate the outcomes to be achieved.

Expressions of interest (EOI) are required to apply for this tier, deadlines for which are listed below.

  • The larger leverage grants provide funds between $10,001 to $25,000.
  • Community groups can apply for the larger leverage grants twice a year - see the funding rounds table below.

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.

Priority and Eligibility

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

Please read the Guidelines and supporting documents before applying.
If your community is in a drought-affected region, please review the Tackling Tough Times Together program
to see if your project fits within those guidelines.

Funding Rounds

Strengthening Rural Communities is a rolling grants program, which means that applications will be accepted at any time for the Small & Vital tier of funding. Larger Leverage grants open twice a year, alongside the Small & Vital tier.

Please see the table below for the submission cut-off dates that best suit your project requirements.

Funding Round

Funding Tier

Assessment Period

Status Update

Round 4

SRC - Small & Vital

  • Applications closed Thursday, 19 December 2019 for funds awarded in March 2020.
Assessing - funds to be awarded in March 2020.
Round 5
SRC - Small & Vital
  • Applications must be received by 5pm AEDT, Tuesday 24 March 2020 for funds awarded in mid-June 2020.

Submission of applications are due 5pm AEDT Tuesday, 24 March 2020 for funding awarded in mid-June.

EOIs for the Larger Leverage tier are now closed. 

SRC - Larger Leverage
  • Expressions of Interest (EOIs) were due Tuesday 4 February 2020 and are now closed.
  • Invitations to submit a full application will be made to select applicants, and are due by 5pm, Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Round 6 SRC - Small & Vital Applications must be received by 5pm AEST, Tuesday 30 June 2020 for funds awarded in mid-September 2020. Cut off date for applications is 5pm AEST Tuesday, 30 June 2020.
Round 7 SRC - Small & Vital Applications must be received by 5pm AEST, Tuesday 22 September 2020 for funds awarded in early December 2020.

EOIs for the Larger Leverage tier due 5pm AEST Tuesday, 4 August 2020.

Cut off date for applications is 5pm AEST Tuesday, 22 September 2020.

SRC - Larger Leverage Expressions of Interest (EOIs) must be made by 5pm AEST, Tuesday 4 August 2020. Invitations to submit a full application will be made to select applicants.



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. 

FRRR uses an online grants administration system called Grants Gateway. All applications for the Strengthening Rural Communities program will be submitted via FRRR's Grants Gateway online portal.
Before applying, please read the Guidelines and supporting information carefully.

Please download and save the Grants Gateway How-To Guide and the Grants Gateway FAQs to your desktop, and read through them thoroughly to help get you started. You may need to refer to them during the application process. We also encourage you to watch this introductory clip about the Activity Tree, which you'll need to understand to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Ensure there are only numbers in your budget, or the auto-calculate function won't work - i.e. do not include commas, full stops or dollar signs - only numbers.

We want to make sure that applying to our programs is as easy as possible. Let us know if you have any problems by calling 1800 170 020, or emailing

To begin your application for the Small & Vital tier, click on the Apply Now button below.
Grants Gateway Apply Now Grants Gateway Return to applications
To lodge an Expression of Interest for the Larger Leverage tier, please call the relevant Program Manager in your state:
  • VIC / SA / TAS: Carlene Egan - 03 5430 2315
  • NSW / QLD / ACT: Michelle Murphy-O’Kane - 03 5430 2303
  • WA / NT: Jo Kemp - 03 5430 2320
For more information on this process, please read the following documents:

Before applying, please read the Guidelines and supporting information carefully.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss your project, please contact FRRR on 1800 170 020 or email.

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