Backing the Future
2023 NSW applications are now closed
NSW round opens: Friday 28 July 2023
NSW round closes: 9am Monday 28 August 2023
Interviews for NSW shortlisted candidates: October 2023
Successful NSW candidates notified*: November 2023
Background check process: November/December 2023
Grants paid: February 2024
QLD round opens: February 2024
The VFFF team will keep candidates up to date on the progress of their application. We will provide unsuccessful NSW candidates with general feedback in November 2023.
*pending background check process clearance
So what is Backing the Future?
We know that rural and regional young people have big ideas to create a better future for themselves and their communities.
We also know that it can be really hard to find funding for early-stage work.
Backing the Future gives 20 individuals* or groups of individuals** across NSW and QLD $50,000 to advance an idea to support rural and regional young people aged 15-24 to:
- Access Decent Work; or
- Care for the Environment; or
- Contribute to Society; or
- Explore Christian Faith and Values.
Each year, VFFF will open applications for both a NSW and QLD round. Applications for the NSW round are currently being assessed. Applications for the QLD round open in February 2024.
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.
Other exclusions include: individuals seeking support for scholarships, public fundraising appeals, disaster appeals, political projects, litigation and/or political lobby groups.
*Applicants must be aged 18 or older.
** Groups of individuals will need to nominate one primary applicant to undergo the selection process and lead the project.
How do I apply?
The application questions are straightforward asking you to:
- Submit your contact details and a snapshot of your idea
- Film yourself giving a 2-3 minute pitch of the idea.
To apply, applicants should:
- Click here
- Create an account
- Complete the eligibility quiz
- If eligible, complete the written and upload your pitch video.
Our application form has both video and written elements. Our aim is for this process to be as inclusive as possible. If the application process raises any accessibility challenges or if you have concerns about the scope of the background checking process, please call a VFFF team member on (02) 9291 2727 or email [email protected].
Who assesses Backing the Future applications?
Backing the Future applications are assessed by:
- VFFF Youth Advisory Group: Our Youth Advisory Group is made up of seven amazing young people from across Australia. All members are living in or connected to rural and regional communities. This group reviews all eligible applications and develops a shortlist.
- VFFF Grants Committee: The Grants Committee brings together younger Fairfax family members to participate in VFFF grant making. The Grants Committee reviews the Youth Advisory Group’s shortlist, interviews shortlisted candidates and selects the final 10 grant recipients for each round.
What might a Backing the Future grant look like?
Backing the Future grant recipients differ from round to round. In the past, applicants have requested funding for salary, start-up or project costs. Backing the Future grants have supported:
- Hip-hop writing and production workshops to support rural and regional young people to find their voice
- Research and development of an online platform designed to promote accessible job opportunities for young people in agriculture
- Wages for an individual to develop and run a civil discourse program in rural and regional schools
Click here to check out the successful NSW recipients from 2022 and more info about their work.
What does the grant process look like?