December is usually a time for celebration, thanks to the festive season.
But, for one Hunter organisation, this month has extra special significance in 2021.
The Greater Charitable Foundation marked two important milestones – 10 years of operation and $10 million in funding support.
For more than three-quarters of a century, Greater Bank, or Greater Building Society as it was known prior to 2016, has a long history of supporting the communities in which it operates.
It was a desire to formalise this process in 2010 that provided the catalyst for establishing a new foundation.
When launched in 2011, its charter was to make a significant difference to the lives of people in the areas where Greater Bank operated, and the board committed to provide $1 million annually to support this vision.
While the charter has evolved over the years to align with changes in community needs, the fundamentals have remained constant.
Today, this is achieved through the lens of financial wellbeing however, in essence, the programs and partners that the Greater Charitable Foundation supports still facilitate changes in life outcomes of beneficiaries.
“It’s obviously a great achievement,” CEO Anne Long said.
“Our 10-year anniversary provides not only me, but all of us who have played a part in the foundation’s success, a chance to look back and reflect on what we’ve undertaken with our charity partners and the positive impact it’s had on so many lives.
“As the CEO, from the start, I’ve had this incredible opportunity to work alongside and connect with organisations doing amazing work to assist individuals and families who may not have had the capacity to support themselves.”
The Greater Charitable Foundation has partnered with 31 groups over the past 10 years, which have delivered a diverse range of programs, including support for cancer patients and their families, educational aid for sick children, family respite services and medical research.
Collectively, these initiatives have directly impacted the lives of more than 32,000 people.
“Over the years, we’ve provided funding to established programs, newer charities, pilot projects and capacity-building activities,” Ms Long said.
“Our support has enabled them to take that next step in their journey; to refine their focus, to upskill for the future and to create sustainable interventions to further address the unmet need in our communities.
“$10 million in 10 years is an outstanding milestone.
“But, what is even more meaningful to me is the number of people that have directly benefited from that funding.
“I’m proud, very appreciative, however most of all thankful for the opportunity Greater Charitable Foundation has been afforded to help address some of the most pressing social issues in the communities where we live and work.
“I look forward to the next 10 years.”
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