Program giving small communities a boost

Strengthening Rural Communities grants

The Strengthening Rural Communities 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 program that the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal 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 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.

1. Building community resilience

2. Developing organisational resilience and capacity

3. Enhancing environmental sustainability

4. Fostering cultural vibrancy

5. Lifelong learning and education

6. Economic strength

7. Improving community health and social 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.