Background Image

Got an Idea to Back the Future of Rural and Regional Young People?

“The Backing the Future grant program gave me the foundation from which to make Grow the Future happen. This grant program is very unique in that I felt it really prioritised the impact of the vision that I had, and gave me the support and flexibility to realise that vision” – Callum Champagne

We know that rural and regional communities are full of passionate individuals committed to creating a brighter future for their young people. But they need support to turn their ideas into action.

The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation’s Backing the Future grants program provides one-off, $50,000 grants to individuals or groups of individuals supporting rural and regional youth.  Over the course of 12 months, recipients research, develop and/or accelerate an early stage idea aligned with one of VFFF’s four focus areas:

  •   Caring for the Environment; or
  •   Contributing to Society; or
  •   Decent Work; or
  •   Exploring Christian Faith and Values.

Successful recipients have worked on a range of projects, from hip-hop workshops aimed at elevating young people’s voices to the development of a social enterprise farm supporting training and employment for young people.

Applications for round four are now open for individuals and groups of individuals whose work is based in rural and regional Queensland.

Not sure if Backing the Future is for you? Here’s how past recipients describe the program…

We asked our Cohort One recipients to describe their Backing the Future experience in one word or phrase. Here’s what they said: 

  •   Opportunity
  •   Empowering
  •   Caring
  •   Freedom
  •   Young people taken into consideration
  •   Potential
  •   Brave
  •   Planting seeds for long-term results
  •   Unique
  •   Catalyst.

Okay… so how do you create a strong application?

We have two groups that assess Backing the Future applications. Our Youth Advisory Group (“YAG”) is made up of seven young people from rural and regional areas. They review all eligible applications and develop a shortlist. Our Grants Committee brings together younger Fairfax family members to participate in grant-making. The Committee reviews the YAG’s shortlist and interviews candidates.

These groups are looking for a clear idea and a comprehensive plan. They are not looking for the world’s best grant writer. In fact, many of our successful recipients have never written a grant application before.

Across our past three rounds, strong applications have:

  • identified strong alignment to one or more Backing Young People focus areas
  • clearly set out project milestones and a realistic budget
  • demonstrated a commitment to incorporating youth voice into a project e.g. consulting with or involving young people in the development or implementation of an idea
  • effectively articulated the desired impact of their project
  • explained a connection to and understanding of the communities where the work will take place
  • demonstrated evidence of demand from young people for the proposed idea
  • provided information on the applicant’s motivation, experience and capacity to deliver.

 Key dates and eligibility

Applications are now open and close 9 AM Monday 4 March for individuals or groups of individuals based in QLD. If you are applying as a group of individuals, you will need to nominate one primary applicant to undergo the selection process and lead the project. We are eager to support early-stage work that might not otherwise be eligible for philanthropic funding. For this reason, Backing the Future does not accept applications from registered charities or organisations.

Got a question or need more support?

Please contact a VFFF team member on 02 9291 2727 or We are happy to set up a time to chat about your idea and answer any questions you may have about the process.

Jay Boolkin
Jay Boolkin

I'm passionate about positive social change and the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I believe that for-purpose business models can become part of the mainstream and I am enthusiastic about advocating for business models that are genuinely built around a social or environmental mission.

No Comments

Post a Comment

Join as a member to get unlimited access


Already a Member? Log in

Subscribe to Social Change Central

No spam. It's a promise.

Password reset link will be sent to your email