2016 – a reflection

As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment of reflection:
2016 has once again been a busy, challenging yet rewarding year. We felt the loss and downsizing of some of our largest community contributors, however. Despite that loss, our community continued to amaze us with support, generosity, compassion and resilience, enabling the Give Where You Live Foundation to further spread our impact throughout the G21 region.

At June 2016, our total revenue had grown by 8%, enabling us to contribute and return, over $2 million to those most in need in our community. We’ve also grown our corpus by an additional $100,000 to $2.8 million; further ensuring our sustainability into the future.

126 community volunteers became grant review panellists and assisted us to assess the 90 grant applications received. Through this process and the involvement of community volunteers we continue to maintain and strengthen our strong philosophy of community based philanthropy.

The GROW initiative (a partnership with G21) which started as a desire to do something different to make a real difference to those living with disadvantage in our key target areas, has really begun to take shape as work to implement the GROW business plan really gets underway. We are thrilled to announce this work to implement the Plan will be assisted by $1 million in Victorian Sate Government funding over the next 5 years. We now have 38 signatories to the GROW Compact (organisations that have committed to the GROW principles), launched a new website www.grow.g21.com.au and the Alcoa Foundation Social Procurement Toolkit.

We celebrated the 50th anniversary of our Loaned Executive Program which supports our Workplace Giving Program; the backbone of our annual fundraising. We honoured the work of over 1500 Loaned Executives with a once in a lifetime party at the Ford Stamping Plant, which was an opportune moment to thank Ford Australia and its employees for 60 plus years of support and dedication to their community through our Foundation. This support has been a constant through their annual corporate donations, supply of executive vehicles, workplace giving and an unbroken, 50 year commitment to the Loaned Executive Program. We owe Ford and its staff a great debt of gratitude and we are pleased to announce that their legacy will live on through a $25,000 donation into our corpus from the Ford Geelong Manufacturing Workers as well as $98,000 by the Ford Motor Company; the result of an auction of one of the ‘Ford Final Four’ locally produced vehicles.

In March we undertook the inaugural Surf Coast Trek in partnership with the Kids Plus Foundation, an amazing community event which saw over 500 people participate. Our plan is to make 2017s Trek even bigger and we hope as many of you as possible join us (surfcoasttrek.com.au). Our events calendar continues to provide an exciting and wide range of events for everyone to enjoy; from our annual BTS Admin Professionals Breakfast to the E&S and Duffs Diamond Golf Classics and finishing off the year with the Dawnbuster Fun Run

We awarded Robbie Lecchino (King of the Castle Café) the annual Chairman’s Award for his dedication to the Feed Geelong campaign and we acknowledged three long-time supporters of Give Where You Live; Ian Cover, Jordan Mavros OAM and Mike O’Brien by inducting them as Life Members.

The work of the Foundation’s team was also recognised as state finalists of the prestigious Telstra Business Awards, the Fundraising Institute of Australia state finalists for the Surf Coast Trek and a Silver Award for our workplace giving program with Ford Australia in the Australian Charities Fund ‘1 million donors’ workplace giving awards.

We of course need to thank a great many people and organisations for their contributions. To all the donors, corporate supporters and sponsors, workplace givers, event participants, community partners, volunteers, trusts and foundations as well as our Board members that have supported us throughout the year we say a huge thank you. Your support has been unwavering. It allows us to continue our work for the Geelong G21 region and is something that we will never take for granted.

We thank you once again for joining with us on our journey and thank you for supporting your community. We would finally like take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday period and a prosperous New Year.