To 'give where you live' is the idea behind it

SOCIAL IMPACT: Proposed Community Foundation working group chairman Dick Kearins said funds from it would benefit local projects and people.
SOCIAL IMPACT: Proposed Community Foundation working group chairman Dick Kearins said funds from it would benefit local projects and people.

The idea of a fund that would allow Goulburn residents to “give where they live” is taking shape.

The Community Foundation could be used for much-needed community projects or to upgrade community facilities or infrastructure. 

It could also be used to assist local people to access training or education so they can contribute these skills back locally. 

The Community Foundation’s working group chairman Dick Kearins said it would also give the community control and ownership over projects that locals deemed as having maximum “social impact.”

“It is all about ‘giving back where you live’,” Mr Kearins said.

“The concept is that while people are alive, or as a bequest, they can give to an investment fund held on behalf of the community.

“Corporate groups can also donate. The key to it is that money is invested in perpetuity and the distributions to the community are the earnings from the investment - so the capital remains in the fund and grows.”

He said the funds would be aimed at the social needs of the community.

“An example of the fund in operation may be a person donating a property or the proceeds from selling it for a community purpose (eg a refuge) or other philanthropic cause where the proceeds stay in Goulburn,” he said.

“Another example could be where there is a heritage building but maintaining it is hard and these funds could assist.”

“It is a vehicle for people who want to give back to do so – like a community superannuation fund.”

Mr Kearins said a Community Foundation would be overseen by a board and an established management group would monitor and manage the investment. 

He said it would not compete with other fundraising groups. 

“The Foundation’s role is to promote ‘give where you live’ to create a legacy for the community you love, so it is not competing with the short term fundraising efforts of local organisations,” he said. 

“Even in the neighbouring Upper Lachlan Shire, there are a number of funds out there such as the Nancy Martin Fund, where the earnings go to Crookwell Public School to be used to purchase items for students and it has been very successful.”  

He said the board would be made up of community members that rotate. Though in the preliminary stages the Community Foundation’s working group has met a few times and “everyone involved is enthused about the project.” Those interested can contact Mr Kearins via Workspace 2580.