North Coast


Focusing on four priority needs: disadvantage, housing & homelessness, recovery & resilience and the environment.

This year, the Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) is distributing grant funding to local community organisations whose projects can address one of four priority needs in the Northern Rivers: disadvantage, housing & homelessness, recovery & resilience and the environment. And for the first time, NRCF will be able to provide dedicated support to community groups and organisations through the introduction of a Community Impact Officer role within NRCF.

For 16 years, NRCF has been helping community organisations make a real and lasting impact in our region, granting a total of over $2.4 million* to 143 organisations across 347 projects.

Over the past 18 months, community organisations in the Northern Rivers have proved to be more important than ever as they directly respond to community need arising from crises. NRCF Community Grants will support these organisations in delivering projects that will have a lasting impact in our region.

With a Community Impact Officer in place, NRCF is now able to offer guidance and support to community organisations during the grant application process, and if successful, assist them on their journey as a grant recipient to ensure they achieve their objectives and have the most impact possible.

Our role as a community foundation is to support community organisations in as many ways as we can. It’s not only about the funding, it’s about building capacity within these organisations so they can meet the increasing and differing demands for their services,” said NRCF CEO, Emily Berry.

In response to critical issues impacting the Northern Rivers Community, the 2021 Community Grants Program will offer funding through four priority areas:

  • Disadvantage: projects that address the social, economic, cultural and/or educational disadvantage.
  • Housing & Homelessness: projects that focus on the prevention of homelessness and/or provide accommodation and support services for those most vulnerable.
  • Recovery & Resilience: supporting smaller community organisations in their recovery from COVID-19 and/or recent natural disasters, specifically those organisations who have ‘fallen through the gaps’ in state and federal funding, such as volunteer driven organisations.
  •  Environment: supporting the conservation of our natural environment by conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, protecting threatened species, building community skills and education and/or dealing with local pollution.

“At NRCF we understand the need for community funding, and the difference this makes to our most vulnerable people and environment. For many years we have witnessed how a small grant can have a significant impact, creating a ripple effect of change right across our region,” said NRCF Chair, Nicole Weber.

The 2021 NRCF Community Grants Round is possible thanks to partnerships with Portland House Foundation and the James Frizelle Charitable Foundation, and all those who have donated to NRCF over the years. Those donations are pooled and invested in ethical investments, the income from which goes towards this community grants program. This means donations to the Foundation have a lasting impact on our community.

Community groups and organisations across the 7 local government areas of the Northern Rivers are encouraged to apply for grants of between $2,000 – $10,000. Thanks to NRCF’s association with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), all not for profit groups including those without Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status can apply.

The application form will be available to download from the NRCF website from Wednesday August 4th, 2021. Applications close midnight Monday September 6th, 2021. 

Grant Program Guidelines are available for download at

The Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF) was established in 2004 to connect people who care with local causes that matter to enhance community well-being in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.  NRCF strives to create a compassionate, generous and equitable community. Dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in our community, NRCF supports social, environmental and cultural community organisations and groups across the 7 local government areas of the Northern Rivers.

For more information, or to arrange an interview please call Joanne Heath on 0466 604 154, or email

*Grant funding distributed as at June 30, 2021.