There are 46 Community Foundations across the UK, each working specifically in their own county to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people, by encouraging philanthropy within the local community.
How It All Began
Community Foundations were conceived in the USA in 1914 and grew rapidly after the Wall Street crash, with 1,700 now existing worldwide. The first Community Foundation was established in 1914 in Cleveland, USA by philanthropist Fred Goff who discovered that many people had left sums of money to benefit causes which had since become obsolete. He realised that it would be of more benefit to local communities if a fund could be held by local people, in perpetuity, to be used at their discretion to address the needs of the day. (The Cleveland Foundation now holds over $2 billion in endowment investments).
Since 1975, Community Foundations are one of the fastest growth parts of the UK charity sector, gaining large support on the basis that ‘need begins at home’. Each Community Foundation in the UK is headed up by the Lord-Lieutenant, Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in that particular county.
Collectively, the network of Community Foundations across the UK manage almost £700 million in endowed funds and provide grants worth £98 million per year. Each Community Foundation works hard to connect local donors with local needs, to ensure that grants reach those most in need in each county.
Community Foundation Priorities:
- Arts, Culture and Heritage
- Community and Family Support
- Counselling, Advice and Mentoring
- Crime and Anti-social Behaviour
- Mental and Physical Health and Disability
- Education and Training
- Employment and Labour
- The Environment
- Social Inclusion, Fairness and Equality
- Poverty and Disadvantage
- Healthy Living and Sport
- Housing and Homelessness