Philanthropy 500

Collective giving for Geelong

2020 Campaign is now closed

174 donors contributed $500 each to our 2020 campaign.  50% of these funds have been added to the Philanthropy 500 Sub Fund and interest of $2,500 from the investment of these funds has been added to the high impact gift for a local community organisation of $46,000.00.

A smart way of giving to the Geelong Community Foundation.

22 applications from community organisations were received in this years grant round and the Grant Review Panel had the very difficult task of determining the three shortlisted organisations that will pitch to our donors at our virtual grant night on Thursday 12 November 2020.

The three shortlisted organisations are;

  1. BCYF (Barwon Child Youth & Family) – Youth Futures Crew peer education project
  1. Feed Me Bellarine – Establishing and expanding Feed Me Geelong
  1. Hope Bereavement Care/Bluebird Foundation – Lighting the Path:  Youth Suicide and the art of grieving

Detailed information about each shortlisted organisation has been summarised for review.

Learn more about Philanthropy 500 (P500)

  1. Information Flyer   What is P500; Impact of 2019 campaign; How you can make an impact in 2020
  2. Endowment Fund    Provides an overview of the power of the endowment fund, a key pillar of the P500 program
  3. Journey Map             Outlines the program for the 2020 year


DONATE $500 NOW, $100 A MONTH for five months or $42 PER MONTH ongoing.  

Philanthropy 500 (P500) Donation Options

2020 Philanthropy 500 Donation Form

DONATE NOW via GiveNow

What is Philanthropy 500?

$500 contributions from a collective of the Geelong community providing a high impact gift to our local community – a smart way of giving to the Geelong Community Foundation. 

Philanthropy 500 (P500) is the starting point of your philanthropic journey. It harnesses the power of collective giving to fund transformative grants through the combined contributions of individuals, families and businesses.

P500 provides an accessible entry point for like-minded donors across all generations to pool their donations, support their community and experience the grant-making process first-hand. Events are held for P500 donors throughout the year that provide education, networking opportunities, celebrating shortlisted grantees and selecting the final grant recipient.

Visit our P500 Grant page for more information about the grant application process.

“By giving $500, and having it become part of a larger gift, I feel like a major donor. The impact we can make as a group is inspiring” – Bridgette Kelly, Chair, P500 Committee (2016-2019)

How it works

P500 aims to highlight unmet needs in our community, to increase involvement in philanthropy across Geelong and support life-changing community programs. Our strategy is to make one primary grant each year and to grow an endowment fund collectively.

A $500 donation made by 200 people is pooled to create $100,000 for the community. $50,000 is allocated to fund a high impact grant for a local community organisation and $50,000 is invested in the P500 endowment fund. Interest from the endowment fund will be added to the 2020 grant. $7,500 interest was added in 2019. Donations are fully tax-deductible. The P500 Endowment Fund provides a lasting gift to our community.

Grant Theme

The P500 grant theme is community wellbeing. Grant applications will open in August 2020. The P500 Support Group and Foundation Grants Committee will assess applications from organisations who are making a difference in our region. P500 donors will gather at a special event in November 2020 to hear finalist presentations and vote on which local charity will receive the transformative grant. The finalists and successful grantee will benefit from a raised public profile, potentially attracting additional funding.

Our Grant Recipients

The Sanctuary- Compressed

In 2019, 181 people donated $500 to enable a grant of $52,500 ($45,250 from donations + $7,250 interest from the endowment fund) to be awarded to The Sanctuary Counselling Centre for their ‘Family Support Project’; a specialist grief and loss counsellor for 2.5 days per week for 12 months to support individuals and their families to manage the challenge of living with a life-challenging illness or bereavement.

This project will provide free or low-cost counselling and music therapy for people living with a life-challenging illness or bereavement.  The program offers individual or family counselling and music therapy;  group activities; choir, song-writing and mindfulness workshops which evidence shows can help people feel supported, connected and build their resilience to cope.

Many people find it difficult to ask for help. This broad range of therapeutic options and removal of financial barriers makes it as easy as possible for people to seek the help they need.

Learn more about The Sanctuary Counselling Centre




In 2018 we achieved our goal to engage 150 people to provide a $500 donation which was pooled to provide a grant to Good Cycles, chosen through a vote of the P500 Donors.  $37,500 was also added to the P500 Sub Fund.  The P500 Sub Fund provides a lasting gift to our community with the interest from this fund added to the P500 grant each year.  The Grant to Good Cycles was $37,500 plus the $2,500 interest from the P500 endowment fund.

On Friday 17 November 2017, the inaugural Philanthropy 500 (P500) grant was awarded to Gateways Support Services based on the vote of 2017 P500 donors.  Three organisations were shortlisted and pitched their cause and the intended use of the $22,500 grant.  More information about each of the finalists is available here.

Read about the winner here.

Why Join Us?

James Ramia explains why he is a P500 Donor


  • Start your philanthropic journey with like-minded people
  • Fund a transformative grant through a $500 donation
  • Be actively involved in the grant-making process
  • Broaden your understanding of challenges faced in the Geelong region
  • Be a part of a contemporary, inclusive and rewarding opportunity

Join us

A donation of $500 or more secures your place in the P500 program. Donate $500 today, $100 a month for five months or $42 per month ongoing to make a lasting positive impact on the Geelong community.

P500 Donation Options

2020 Philanthropy 500 Donation Form

DONATE NOW via GiveNow

For further information about P500, please contact Foundation staff or any P500 Committee Member:

Gail Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 03 5244 7831
Mobile: 0431 059 905

Tony McManus, Development Manager
Tel: 03 5244 7830
Mobile: 0417 334 434

Philanthropy 500 Committee

Thank you to our P500 Committee members:

Simon Loader, Tract Consultants – Chair
Matt Torney, Muirfield Financial Services – Vice-Chair
Melinda Planken, Muirfield Financial Services
Charlie MacKinnon, E.L. & C. Baillieu Ltd
Hayden Baker, Bendigo Bank
Pete Johnston
Cormac Hanrahan, Cormac Hanrahan Photography
John O’Shannassy
Olivia Mackie-Coop
Laura Rigoni, Geelong Cats
Lachie McColl, Geelong Community Foundation Board
Carly Post, Geelong Community Foundation Board
Bridgette Kelly, Geelong Community Foundation Board

P500 is a collective giving program that has established a Sub Fund within the Geelong Community Foundation. Donations are tax-deductible.