Supporters of P500 since inception – Nick Carter & Tamara Carman

Nick And Tamara
Nick Carter and Tamara Carman

 

Geelong husband and wife Nick Carter and Tamara Carman used to face a common dilemma when trying to decide how best to give back to their community—they were overwhelmed by choice. They wondered how to make the biggest difference with the money they had to donate.

“There are so many amazing charitable organisations that are all doing such good things in our community,” Nick says. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by it all, or even desensitised.”

But when the couple discovered the Geelong Community Foundation’s P500 program, they realised it was possible to contribute to several local organisations over time in a way that ensured their money had the greatest positive impact.

“We initially didn’t know much about the Geelong Community Foundation and P500,” Nick says, “but through discussions and further reading we were very impressed with the concept of collective giving and the assistance the Foundation gives right back to our local community.”

Through P500, Nick and Tamara’s annual donation of $500 is combined with other donors’ contributions and becomes part of a much larger grant to a community organisation, which donors help choose through a voting night each year.

Part of each P500 donation is also invested in the P500 endowment fund. Since its inception in 2017, the P500 endowment fund has grown to more than $250,000. Interest from this fund is added to each year’s grant.

In 2021, a $68,000 grant was awarded to Geelong Youth Engagement, thanks to donors like Nick and Tamara.

“The ability to contribute through the P500 initiative is a great fit for us,” Nick says. “The $500 figure is a significant amount of money to donate whereby you need to think wisely about it, but also an amount that is achievable for a lot more people in our community.

“It is very rewarding to see, when combined with the other P500 donors, the impact that this can have on our local community. The size of the grant has always been able to make a real difference, which is very important for us, and to see how large the annual grant has grown is amazing.

“The ability to not only contribute to each year’s grant, but also have the funds invested and added to future years is a nice feeling. It’s great to know that we will be helping long term.”

For Nick and Tamara, who have now been donating to the P500 program for six years, the rewards of being involved go beyond giving back. It’s also about gaining more awareness of the organisations making a difference in their community.

“Being part of P500 has given us insight into how many people in our local community are doing such great things, and it is inspiring to see,” Nick says. “The other side of this is being made aware of the challenges faced in our own backyard, and the constant battles that are fought to not only keep these programs going, but the need to increase their support.”

Words MIRANDA LUBY