This week Ray White Whangarei and Tutukaka officially launched their latest community initiative: “We Can Help With That” a community fund that provides grants to a range of eligible community organisations, schools, groups, charities, causes and individuals throughout the Whangarei District.
Within 24 hours the first application was in. “The team have been blown away by the response,” said Director, John Monteith. “We already foster a spirit of community involvement, and have been active supporters of the community for many years – beyond the traditional role of a real estate agency… with our own team members supporting causes from SPCA, Lions, Banardos, I Have A Dream and many other organisations in our District. We thought the need was there, but to talk to the applicants and field phone calls and enquiries from the public first hand has been a real eye-opener. Through this new fund, we are committed to supporting increased access to opportunities for the Whangarei community – to create a thriving environment and cohesive communities, while promoting a sense of ‘connectedness’.”
It is following on from the creation of their own Charitable Trust, The Ray White Allens Education Foundation (established in 2006), that the We Can Help With That initiative emerged. Their charitable trust supported Northland youth who demonstrated a passion for excellence and were looking to achieve their career goals through further education and training through the creation of annual scholarships. While the scholarships were a great success, providing over $124,000 worth of scholarships which helped 92 Northlanders get closer to achieving their career goals over the last 12 years, the team wanted to see their funding used on projects that would benefit even more Northlanders. We Can Help With That was therefore established to support an even broader range of groups and individuals in the local community – with a vision to create a community of active people, resilient communities and sustainable environments through supporting projects that focus on people, participation and places.
“Through our, We Can Help With That funding we are proud to be able to now offer a range of grants to eligible community organisations, charities, causes and individuals,” said Director, Vanessa McKenzie. “We know the need is there.”
We Can Help With That funding comes directly from the Ray White Whangarei and Tutukaka team members who set aside a percentage of funds from every property sale and lease.
“We believe the fund will be one of the major independent funders in our District distributing grants for charitable, cultural, philanthropic and recreational purposes, and are excited to see how the community responds,” says Ms McKenzie.
Individuals or groups (representing non-profit community groups, charities, cultural, welfare agencies, educational organisations and amateur sporting organisations for example) throughout the Whangarei District can apply for funding from the program. Funding will open in several rounds throughout the year, with dates advertised on the company’s Facebook and website pages. There is no limit to how much individuals or groups can apply for, but most grants will be under $1,000. As part of the process, applicants are encouraged to support their submissions with short videos further explaining their project, their need for funding, and the desired community outcomes.
“We’re providing a community fund that supports causes that are close to home and close to the hearts of those in our community. So, in the spirit of community, connectivity, and keeping it social we’re suggesting people pull out their mobile phones and send us a quick video… It can make a submission so much more “real” when we can put faces to the names of the applicants and see the need, passion and enthusiasm each applicant has for their project.” says fellow Director Chris Hannam.
“And, if you’re unsure about whether you can apply, give us a call to discuss your project. And even if we can’t fund it, there may be other ways we can help,” adds fellow Director Allan Sykes. “Whether it be money for a classroom camera, support with equipment for clubs, environmental purposes or community events – we are excited to see where the need lies, and who takes us up on our offer of support.”
“Through our We Can Help With That grants we are dedicated to facilitating opportunities for positive change in our communities.”