LEETON is in with a chance of receiving more funding as part of a program that focuses on strengthening not-for-profit organisations.
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) are inviting five NSW communities, including Leeton, to take the next step in the Investing in Rural Community Futures (IRCF) program.
For the last few months, community group leaders in Leeton, Junee, Moree, Nambucca Valley and Tumut have worked alongside the IRCF program team to explore ways to address the challenges they face in remaining sustainable and viable.
Each community recently received $60,000 in start-up grants to support a range of organisational capacity building projects.
The team is now seeking to identify which of these three communities will be part of the next phase of the program.
This will see $950,000 in grant funds, alongside a range of support made available to not-for-profit groups within the communities, thanks to VFFF.
The funding will support whatever each group identifies they need most to build their capacity - from access to experts or coaches, training and skill-building, or funding for key projects.
IRCF program manager Alli Mudford said each of the five communities will be a strong contender for further support.
"Each of these communities has great local organisations and passionate individuals who have incredible insight into what they need to address local issues and grab onto opportunities that will help create a sustainable, vibrant future," she said.
"It has been an absolute privilege to work with these amazing people on this exciting project.
It has been an absolute privilege to work with these amazing people on this exciting project.IRCF program manager Alli Mudford
"The premise of the IRCF program is to support and encourage not-for-profit organisations in regional communities to build their capacity, and we've seen great evidence of this already.
"We're really pleased to see such strong alignment and co-operation in the eligible communities and expect that to continue in the chosen three."
Ms Mudford said it would be a difficult task to choose three communities out of the five, but the remaining two will still have the chance to work with FRRR over the next year as they implement their start-up grant projects.
FRRR will also try to connect them to other sources of funding and support.
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