Our Grants

Backing the Future

Backing the Future 2022 NSW recipient Jae Brieffies (centre) with her Bright Generation team.
Backing the Future 2022 NSW recipient Jae Brieffies (centre) with her Bright Generation team.

2024 QLD applications open now!

 QLD round opens: Friday 2 February 2024

 QLD round closes: 9am Monday 4 March 2024

 Interviews for QLD shortlisted candidates: April 2024

 Successful QLD candidates notified*: May 2024

 Background check process: May/June 2024

 Grants paid: July 2024

 NSW round opens: August 2024

The VFFF team will keep candidates up to date on the progress of their application. We will provide unsuccessful QLD candidates with general feedback in May 2024.

*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 12-30 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 QLD round open in February 2024. The NSW round will accept applications in August 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.

2022 NSW Backing the Future recipient Josie Clarke
2022 NSW Backing the Future recipient Josie Clarke

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 (most applicants film this casually on a phone or laptop).

To apply, applicants should:

  1. Click here
  2. Create an account
  3. Complete the eligibility quiz
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
VFFF's Youth Advisory Group
VFFF's Youth Advisory Group

What might a Backing the Future grant look like?

2023 QLD Backing the Future recipients
2023 QLD Backing the Future recipients

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

To find out more info about the work of successful recipients follow the links to our 2022 NSW recipients and 2023 QLD recipients.

What does the grant process look like?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Got more questions? Read our FAQs below or contact a friendly VFFF team member at [email protected]

Case Studies

Backing the Future: Callum Champagne

Our Impact Backing the Future: Callum Champagne “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…
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Backing the Future: Rizina Yadav

Our Impact Backing the Future: Rizina Yadav “‘The Backing the Future process was immensely valuable for me. The application, especially the questions and interview, involved thinking clearly and carefully about the change I wanted to create and my plan for effectively doing so. The VFFF team was kind and knowledgeable, ensuring the process was accessible…
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Backing the Future: Bevis Masson-Leach

Our Impact Backing the Future: Bevis Masson-Leach “Making music is an outlet, a way to share your story and a positive avenue to vent frustrations and emotions which otherwise will get directed elsewhere. So we aim to provide a safe space for the young people involved to freely express themselves without censorship and embrace the…
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Backing the Future: Josie Clarke

Our Impact Backing the Future: Josie Clarke “Agcess is backing the future by creating pathways into agriculture for young people with disability & empowering agribusinesses to be transparent about their accessibility. The VFFF Backing the Future grant has enabled me to bring to life a tailored, accessible careers site. This is an important part of…
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