We connect people and communities to tackle tough, urgent social and environmental problems in the Northern Rivers. We are in it for the long haul, our funding model of investing donor money means we (and you) have a lasting impact on disadvantage. The more you donate, the more impact we can have.

In a standard charity you might raise a million dollars in one year, and give away $700k, but then you have to raise the money all over again the next year. This does not happen at NRCF. NRCF builds an investment fund with your donations and we only give away the interest and dividends from those investments in the form of grants.

Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the world today.

The NRCF has the largest footprint of any community foundation in Australia; we cover areas from Tweed to Grafton, from the ocean all the way up past Kyogle, Woodenbong and Casino. We have about 300,000 people in our region and encompass seven local government areas.


NRCF Footprint
Ballina Shire
Byron Shire
Lismore Shire


The NRCF is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate in our community, either from economic circumstances, mental illness, disability, learning difficulties or drug/alcohol addictions.

Our grants touch on issues such as people’s right to health, employment, higher education, happiness and creative expression, and the challenges of living in a regional community. Broadly we operate across five areas:

  • Youth
  • Disability
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Environment & Conservation
  • Aged Services

We are a community-based independent foundation where donations are invested to build a capital amount of money. We then invest this wisely in ethical funds, and the interest and dividends from these funds go towards our annual grant program. This means we can provide a permanent source of funds to the community year after year. As you continue to donate, so our grant funding grows and so does the investment fund.

Put simply, the more money we receive, the more impact we can keep on having.

Community organisations in the Northern Rivers can apply for grants from NRCF, every year. We give small grants ranging from $500 to $30,000. In 2016–17 a total of $224,723 was distributed to projects and organisations in Northern Rivers across 22 organisations. Everything from helping a local environmental charity to train its staff to handle venomous snakes, through to a local project helping young people discuss important issues like domestic violence.

Here are some examples of what your donations can be used for:


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Supporting disadvantaged youth achieve sustainable employment

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For a free counselling program for families supporting loved ones in rehabilitation

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To provide a social enterprise for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness

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To create a safe environment for teenagers to talk about domestic abuse

List of projects funded in 2017 (PDF)

We acknowledge there will always be disadvantage in our community. So we have set up a Foundation that will always be here to tackle that. We’re not a flash in the pan, we’re established, we’re ongoing, and we’ll keep filling those gaps in the long run. We’re expanding our reach, our impact and our programs so that the entire Northern Rivers can receive our support. Rest assured we’re in it for the long haul — our organisation, our people and our programs have serviced the Northern Rivers since 2004.

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