Frederick Goff, an American banker created the first Community Foundation when he became frustrated that his predecessors had bequeathed money to causes that over time became obsolete; and the trusts his friends set up held the money tight and the Dead Hand reached from beyond the grave to prevent the money being applied for the changing needs of society. His Community Foundation held donations centrally so that the income could be applied in perpetuity to the needs of the day.
We continue these principles today so that our funds are held, invested professionally and managed collectively by a body of local trustees on behalf of the community (so there are no issues of replacing ageing trustees); ensuring the greatest economies of scale can be achieved; that the grants made remain relevant to local need to make the greatest possible instant and long-term impact (and charitable objects never become obsolete); and that the generosity and wishes of individuals and companies can be realised and recognised in perpetuity.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation run 5 principal forms of funds:
- National: We are partners with HM Government, Comic Relief, the Big Lottery and other national/regional charities to direct their social action into our region. In 2016 HIWCF won £500,000 of European Social funding managed by DWP which we match-funded locally £1 for £1 to tackle employability issues across the Solent LEP area. For HM Government we managed two further funds in 2017, Youth Social Action to encourage young people into volunteering and social action; and New Beginnings, an SE-wide fund to integrate asylum seekers.
- Corporate: On behalf of international and Hampshire companies like Ford UK, BAT plc, Red Funnel, Paris Smith, Kenwood and Hildon Water, we manage funds to support local causes. This is great for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), engaging with staff, local suppliers and firmly roots companies in the community. These can be Endowment Funds which will give in perpetuity to those causes in Hampshire or Isle of Wight that matter to the donor or Flow-through Funds which are spent in one year. We also assist companies to set up Payroll Giving and Text Giving.
- Private Donors: we manage many Named (and anonymous) funds for Hampshire and Isle of Wight individuals and families where donors give us discretion with their funds. In these cases, we promote individual themes to reflect local need, so in 2017 HIWCF is supporting Youth Mental Health issues, and has received strong support to match fund this programme.
- Regional Funds: We manage many funds for local villages, parishes, local authorities and cities to ensure grants reach local communities most effectively in a targeted way; for instance: supporting local playgrounds, village halls, winter grants for those who can’t afford to stay warm or grants to help prevent the elderly needing Social care.
- Donor-directed funds: We manage funds attracting Gift Aid and tax relief for the donors, and donors advise us each year an area of interest where they wish us to make grants in their name. Very often we will identify and advise suitable causes that reflect the donor’s interests; we have arranged their donations are hypothecated, and visits to see where their donations have been spent. The causes they support might range from a disaster relief fund or a local hospice, to a cancer charity or youth sail training.
We manage up to 20 different grant programmes a year and are continuously adding new areas of interest to our donors from music scholarships, school prizes and uniform funds to bursaries for care leavers and talented athletes.