We caught up with Clunes local Gerard Vos, owner of fintech and credit card security company Transec (associated with Spectrum), on why he chooses to give where he lives to support the Northern Rivers.
1) Why did you choose to donate to the NRCF?
Having met several members of the team and having attended a few functions, I got to like the approach of NRCF. Funds are allocated based on impact and merit; sound research goes into this. Low overheads, ability to give to causes that you value, and finally a local focus that can have a more global impact.
2) What causes did you donate to and why?
Living in the Northern Rivers as a homeowner, I have seen the price hike in both houses to buy, and more importantly lack of affordable housing to rent. Being in the lucky position of not having to rent anymore but having rented for extended periods in the past, you feel the pain in the area. You can see how easy it is for people to get into the undesirable position of homelessness through no fault of their own. I have therefore given to the Housing fund long term and to the Housing impact now. Finally, I allocated a portion to the Resilience and Regeneration fund, as we have seen the Lismore floods from nearby here and are part of this community. I am also interested in environmental causes making the Northern Rivers a better place to live and securing all of our futures.
3) How did you first get interested in philanthropy?
I’ve always given to various causes over time as the need arises. As you get in a more fortunate position you feel that you need to give back as well. Giving through a company structure has the added benefit that you can donate pre-tax corporate funds. Meaning you can give a bit more. Giving to NRCF has the benefit that you can see where it goes, which leads to more involvement.
4) What are the benefits of donating to a local organisation, in your eyes?
It makes you feel that you are contributing to your local community addressing real issues around you. Giving to environmental causes such as planting Koala corridors locally, also means that you are doing something that has a real impact now which is measurable. There is certainly a place to give to international organisations as well, but more is lost due to the overheads of those organisations and there is less visibility of impact. Change starts from the ground up, and giving locally makes you feel that you are part of the solution, rather than the problem.
If you would like to become part of the NRCF’s Business for Good Community, please reach out to email@example.com or visit our Business for Good page.