As you may know, the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) is a national charity specifically focused on supporting the social and economic strength of remote, rural and regional communities. They’ve granted out more than $115 million to more than 10,000 community projects across the country.
Given their broad reach and day to day contact with rural community groups, FRRR knows the critical role that local organisations and NFPs play in rural areas. They also know that in many places, successive disasters including drought, floods, fires and of course COVID-19 have had a huge impact and meant many groups are doing it really tough, with volunteers fatigued and funding hard to come by.
While they know this, not everyone does. That’s why FRRR has launched a research study called Heartbeat of Rural Australia. They want to put some numbers around the critical role of community-based organisations in sustaining the vitality of remote, rural and regional Australia. FRRR is also keen to better understand the impacts of recent disasters and to identify what’s currently affecting the capacity, capability, influence and leadership of community groups. But this isn’t just for their use. The findings will be shared widely, including with the groups that participate, to help community groups better advocate for the support they need to sustain and grow their activities. FRRR will also use the results to inform governments, philanthropy, and business about the specific needs of community organisations outside metropolitan areas, and to inform our practice.
The Heartbeat of Rural Australia study is aiming to provide much needed evidence to:
- Demonstrate the economic, societal and cultural role of community-based organisations;
- Measure the cumulative impacts of recent events in remote, rural, and regional areas, including COVID-19, bushfires, droughts, and floods;
- Identify the factors that affect the capacity, capabilities, influence and leadership of community organisations in their communities; and
- Determine helpful and unhelpful funder and policy-maker approaches to strengthening remote, rural, and regional communities’ self-determination, viability and sustainability.
Who should participate in the study?
The focus for this study is grassroots community groups and local organisations — groups that are locally-led, and in and of their communities. There is no preferred legal or organisational structure, as we are really keen to hear from a broad range of incorporated and unincorporated organisations, charities and not-for-profit organisations that support communities in remote, rural and regional areas.
So, if you are based in remote, rural, or regional Australia and are part of a community group, FRRR want to hear from you! They are looking for responses from groups ranging from hall management committees, local environmental groups and progress associations, Traditional Owner groups, through to larger regional not-for-profits that may service more than one town.
FRRR are really keen to make sure that we hear from different locations across remote, rural and regional Australia. We also want the responses to come from groups and organisations working with and representing the diversity of the people and places that make up country Australia to ensure we are telling as much of the story of remote, rural and regional Australia as possible.
Share the Survey
Please share this survey
The more organisations that participate, the more valid the data will be, and the more influence it will have. Therefore, if your organisation is on the ground we encourage you to complete the survey yourself, and to share the survey across your rural, regional and remote community networks.
To help support you to share the survey, FRRR has developed a communications pack. It includes social posts, posters and of course links to the survey.
FRRR has set up a web page with some FAQs, but if you have any questions, contact James Depasquale on 1800 170 020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete the Heartbeat of Rural Australia Research Survey
The Survey yakes approx 20 minutes to complete and closes September 30, 2021.
The results will be published on FRRR’s website in November.