Foundation Update

In this edition

  • 2020 Virtual Grants Night
  • Philanthropy 500 (P500)
  • Changes to our Board
  • Staff Update by Tony McManus

This newsletter provides news and updates on how the Foundation is working to achieve its core purpose, to make a lasting difference to people in the Geelong Region.

2020 Virtual Grants Night

Like many organisations, we have had to change the way we do things and become a little creative. The announcement of our grants for 2020/21 has taken a different form and I am pleased to provide you with the 2020 Virtual Grants Night.

It is a 14 minute presentation so grab a cuppa or a glass of wine and sit back with friends and family and enjoy the production.

We have already shared information regarding the 48 grants we have provided, but you’ll find all the detail on our website.

Sincere thanks to the Foundation donors who make these grants possible.

Tony Gail And Hayden In Masks - Compressed
Tony McManus (GCF Development Manager), Gail Rodgers (GCF Chief Executive Officer), Hayden Torney (GCF Board Chairman)

Philanthropy 500 (P500)

This unique collective giving program, in its fourth year in 2020, will provide a grant of $46,000 to an organisation in the impact area of community wellbeing. We were thrilled that 174 donors have supported the 2020 campaign this year. A great result in difficult times.

The grant round opened on the 17th August and will close on the 14th September. All the details are available at our P500 grant page on our website.

Again, our donor event will look a little different this year. Donors, their friends and family will be invited to a virtual event on Thursday 12th November where the three shortlisted finalists will pitch their proposal, hoping to gain the donors vote to receive the grant. There will be an online voting process for donors. The organisation with the most votes will be announced on the night and receive the 2020 P500 Grant.

We also have a few exciting extras planned for this unique online event.

Changes to our Board


Two casual vacancies were filled on the Board recently with Barton van Laar returning as a Director after being very involved in the organisation’s earlier years.  Michael Betts has also been appointed as a Director.  Michael supported the establishment of the organisation in 1999.  Both Barton and Michael bring considerable skills and knowledge to the organisation and we welcome their appointment.



Staff Update by Tony McManus

Coping with the isolation associated with working from home was initially quite confronting for someone who does their best work when they are “out and about”! Although we have weekly Staff Zoom Meetings and adhoc chats, it is not quite the same as the normal experience of bouncing ideas and opportunities off each other in the office. A plus has been turning my home office into a ‘Man Cave’ where I am constantly reminded about things to do and places to go when life eventually gets back to normal.

My experience in the mental health sector had already given me insight into the importance for me to start the day, rain, hail or shine with a decent vigorous walk. It gets the blood flowing and clears the head and allows some planning & creative thoughts about what I need to achieve for the day. To overcome the boredom of walking around the same routes close to home I amuse myself taking ‘#ShadowSelfies’!

Tonys Shadow Selfies Image
Tonys’ Shadow Selfies Image


I have also enjoyed the social connection of a fortnightly catch up on Zoom with 6 mates from our time in the Leaders for Geelong program where we enjoy banter accompanied by a glass of red wine.

The small Foundation team has adapted really well to the pandemic. My highlights have been helping to deliver the ‘Virtual Grants Night’ as a Covid-19 appropriate way to inform our donors and stakeholders, supporting the tremendous achievement of the Philanthropy 500 program in achieving 170 donors and organising billboard sites in high profile locations with our updated logo and message for the community.


We are here for you so don’t hesitate in reaching out.

Tony McManus
Development Manager
P: 5244 7830    M:  0417 334 434