Community training

Image showing a diverse group of women and girls smiling, laughing, and holding flowers, one is throwing petals into the air.

Sharpen your skills by joining Yarra's free community training program. Different sessions are run throughout the year to support not-for profit and community organisations in Yarra to help them run as effectively as possible. 

This is a great opportunity for people involved in local community organisations to seek advice and information about how to apply for grants, managing relationships, project management and media strategies.

The program is aimed at community leaders, managers, coordinators, members of management committees or people considering joining management committees of not-for profit community organisations. The training is designed in a sequence and you can attend one session or come to them all.

See below for the 2021 community training program.

Bookings open approximately 4 weeks prior. Sign up to the Grants eNewsletter here for updates.


Event Marketing and Promotion

When you are putting so much time and effort into organising an event, you want to make sure it has the impact you want and achieves your desired goals. Success comes from great planning and being able to get the word out there to further grow your audience and target those you want to attend.

This session will help guide community groups to prepare an event marketing plan, along with ideas on how to market and promote their event to their intended audience. Topics include:

  • Setting goals for their event
  • Defining the target audience
  • Creating a marketing / promotion plan
  • Telling a story through branding and media messaging
  • Registering event information on promotional platforms
  • Using social media strategies to get the word out to prospective audiences
  • Utilising event management systems to automate registration and attendee messaging
  • Evaluating the success of the event

Date: Friday 23 April 2021

Time: 9:30am-12.00pm  (2.5 hours)

Method: Online

Register: HERE


Successful Grant Writing

There are many grants available to non-profit organisations. With the majority of the workforce being volunteers with limited time to dedicate to applying for grants, how does one decide which ones are best and where to invest precious time into? The first question is, “Are we grant ready?”

With most funders having different requirements and application procedures, learning how to set up a framework, from which one can be ready to apply for any grant efficiently and effectively will open the doors to opportunity and success. Topics include:

  • What are grants and why do organisations give them out
  • What funding is available?
  • Selling one’s organisation and project
  • Defining the project and its benefits
  • The cost of the plan – the budget
  • Defining the organisations stakeholders and partners
  • Sustainability - keeping the project going after the funding finishes
  • Evaluation of the project

Session 1

Date: Thursday 27 May 2021 

Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm  (2.5 hours)

Method: Online

Register: HERE


Session 2

Date: Tuesday 8 June 2021 

Time: 9.30am – 12.00pm  (2.5 hours)

Venue: Bargoonga Nganjin (North Fitzroy) Library -  Seminar Room 1 (Ground Floor)

Register: HERE


Budget Planning for Community Groups

A budget is a plan of how money will be used to achieve the organisations goals. Being able to prepare a budget is essential for determining if a plan, project, or program is feasible, and will also provide a means for measuring results and performance.

This session will provide community groups leaders with the confidence to be able to understand the fundamentals of budgeting. It will help them to formulate a budget for their projects/programs and use a budgeting tool which will help them to forward plan and manage their programs success. Topics include:

  • Budgeting for programs and the whole organisation
  • A run-down of a good budget process
  • Budgeting for new projects and grant applications
  • The numbers we know and those we guess
  • Reporting against the budget

Date: Monday 19 July 2021

Time: 6.00pm - 8.30pm  (2.5 hours)

Method: Online

Register: HERE


Leading and Managing Volunteers

Whether it is the volunteers on the committee or the team out in the field, volunteers can be the backbone of many organisations and without them we may not exist at all. So how do we keep them motivated? How do we ensure they are representing our organisation and upholding the values we hold dear to our mission, and how do we performance manage them if they aren’t?

This session will focus on providing community groups with the tools to better manage their volunteers. It will help to put best practice structures in place so focusing on the organisation’s purpose and delivering valued services to the community becomes easier, with a more motivated and structured volunteering team. Topics include:

  • Why are we engaging volunteers - knowing the purpose?
  • The importance of a role description that actually describes the volunteer’s do’s and don’ts
  • The importance of an Induction or Code of Conduct
  • The importance of a clear performance or touch base strategy - feedback to the volunteer
  • How do one talk to a volunteer about performance
  • The importance of an exit interview

Date: Wednesday 11  August 2021

Time: 12.30pm – 3.00pm  (2.5 hours)

Venue: Carlton Library - Meeting Room

Register: HERE


Building Community with Social Media

Social media and online activities are now part of the way we communicate at work and play. For community organisations they provide a great opportunity to reduce workload and create efficient communication, the challenge however, is to decide which platform will have the greatest impact to support goals.

This interactive session will provide a basic overview of the most popular social media platforms used in Australia and insights on the best way they can be used effectively. This session will be most beneficial to organisations new to promoting their organisations through social media channels. Topics include:

  • The pros and cons of some social media and online platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Understanding target audience / selecting platforms
  • Having creative ideas for content
  • Communicating the right messages
  • Preparing a social media plan

Date: Tuesday 14 September 2021

Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm (2.5 hours)

Method: Online

Register: HERE 


Governance Training for Community Groups

Governance is the system that ensures checks and balances are in place for leaders of not for profit organisations, which helps them to steer the organisation. That sounds simple yet volunteer non-profit and charitable committees must wade through the complex legal and regulatory environment in which they operate.

Our governance training will help community groups understand about leadership and good governance. It will enable them to appreciate how important it is to have structures in place that leads to a positive committee member experience, proper management of conflicts of interest and risk, understanding and planning of financial controls and an organisation that thrives even through adversity. Their members, funders and donors will gain confidence when good governance and transparency are in place and as an outcome greater value of services being provided for the community. Topics include:

  • Assessing if good governance is in place
  • Understanding the Committee’s role in planning
  • Oversighting and monitoring the finances
  • Managing organisational risk
  • Identifying the entities legal structure and the implications for this
  • Outlining the roles and responsibilities of the committee and determining any conflicts of interest

Date: Thursday 7 October 2021

Time: 9.30am – 12.00pm  (2.5 hours)

Venue: Richmond Town Hall (RTH)  - Meeting Room 3

Register: HERE


Evaluating Project and Programs

Projects are developed because there is a realisation that something needs to change. As such, behind every successful grant application should be the process to evaluate the impact of a project. If it is not planned prior to commencing the project, it is difficult to understand what the ‘problem’ is that being addressing and how to measure if a difference through a community group’s or non-profit organisation’s work. Information needs to be gathered before starting, along the way, as well as at the completion of the project.

This session will provide participants with the tools to help decide how to conduct program evaluation and articulate to funders the impact the project has had on the community. Topics include:

  • Planning an evaluation
  • Choosing evaluation methods
  • Gathering data
  • Data analysis

Date: Tuesday 9 November 2021

Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm  (2.5 hours)

Method: Online

Register: HERE



PREVIOUS TRAINING (earlier this year) 

Securing your Future with a Fundraising Plan

Non-profit organisations often have a limited amount of money at their disposal and if one income stream comes to an end; sometimes it can also be the end for the organisation.

This session will help community organisations to review their current fundraising practices and look to the secure their future with alternative solutions. At the end of this session, participants will have constructed a three-year funding plan that fits. Topics include:

  • Reviewing the right approach for a community organisation
  • What skills are needed to succeed?
  • Who is responsible for what?
  • Pro’s and con’s of different modes of fundraising
  • Embedding fundraising as part of the everyday

Date: Wednesday 10 March 2021 


Leading Though Challenging Times

In challenging times, leaders in the community stand up and make sure the engine doesn’t run to a halt. This means rallying people to support those most in need, ensuring the ‘ship is steadied’ with committees and teams, and that communications around crisis and change are on the mark.

This session is designed to assist Committees or Presidents/Chairs to help keep the organisation on track in times of uncertainty and focussed on future opportunities. Topics include:

  • Getting back on track by identifying important actions and things to leave behind
  • Having the courage to abandon what has been successful
  • Influencing others and communicating the way forward effectively
  • Looking after yourself and your team during challenging times
  • Reconfiguring negativity and encouraging positive behaviors in yourself and others

Date: Wednesday 3 February 2021


Help Wanted

Attracting volunteers and committee members is an important part of a non-profit organisation’s ‘business as usual’. If it feels like volunteers are leaving as fast as they arrive, or a community group or non-profit simply doesn’t have enough volunteers to fulfil their goals: then this session is recommended.

This session is designed to tease out what community groups most need from their volunteering workforce, breaking down those needs and creating a volunteering plan to match. It will help to maximise engagement with potential volunteers and give some tips and tricks to promote the organisation and potential volunteering opportunities. Topics include:

  • Volunteer position descriptions
  • Induction checklist and materials
  • Volunteer recognition program
  • Finding committee members
  • Structuring committees to fit the work

 Date: Thursday 18 February 2021

Time: 12.30pm – 3.00pm  (2.5 hours)

Method: Online


Have a question?

If you have a question about the community training program, you can ask us online, or call us on 9205 5555. 

Cover image: This image was taken during a workshop collaboration between The Clubhouse at Fitzroy Learning Network and Bus Projects. Throughout October 2016, artists: Nina Mulhall, Minna Gilligan, Atong Atem, Daisy Catterall and Sheena Colquhoun ran workshops with a group of girls at The Clubhouse. The workshops celebrated the participants, their relationships, the things they like and that are important to them in life. Participants explored ideas of self-identity and representation and how to express this with new forms of verbal and visual exchange, using the tools of each of the mentoring artists: collage, photography, drawing and zines. This has been captured in a special printed publication which was launched at the 2017 Melbourne Art Book Fair. Photograph credited to Bus Projects.