A special relationship has been arranged with the Community Foundation Network to help church-based initiatives throughout the country to secure funding.
Each county has its own Community Foundation, quality-accredited to standards endorsed by the Charity Commission, that has access to a range of private sector and public funding and provides services to those seeking to finance Community Action. This page explains how these arrangements work, and the link provides contact details for the Community Foundation in your area
Community Foundation Network will provide access to services that will support and enable dioceses and parishes that want to initiate action:
The availability of charitable “Community Action Funds” that allow for benefactor donations to be collected, gift aid to be reclaimed and grants made in line with criteria set by the church, and
The availability of the Localgiving.com platform to web-enable the raising of funds for specific projects, and
Availability of signposting services from the local Community Foundation for finance and support
Community Action Funds:
philanthropic benefactor support is perhaps the key contribution
At the request of a church, business, or individuals CFN will establish Community Action Funds for a specific area with a local Community Foundation to which philanthropic benefactors can donate.
Community Action Funds are designed to finance work by local people that will result in positive social change. Each fund will have an endowed option - investments for long term change - and a flow through option - investment for immediate action.
The funds have the following characteristics:
They sit within the umbrella charitable registrations of Community Foundations. Donations to the funds will be, in legal and Public Relations terms, donations to the Community Foundations – independent secular charities;
Donations are fully tax deductible;
The specific criteria for application of the monies within these funds will be agreed with project co-ordinators, and will typically cover:
Geographical areas where churches are active
Priority themes that are relevant locally
Maximum and minimum grants, within nationally agreed parameters
They will be specifically promoted to and through participating churches but will also be promoted generally by the Community Foundation;
They are not available to support evangelisation or political campaigning and they will not be available just for financing Church-based groups;
All due diligence, regulatory compliance and administration of the grants will be the responsibility of the Community Foundation in line with its quality accredited processes;
The funds will be packaged with the availability of the LocalGiving platform that will enable each project to raise its own donated income tax effectively with no administrative overhead;
Any promotion in the media of the results of the fund will be jointly agreed with those involved in the work locally.
Community Foundation Network is also establishing a national enabling fund that will be managed within CFN’s books. This will have the function of enabling single donations that can be fed into funds in multiple locations.
CFN will be able to offer donations into the endowed elements of the funds - and the central enabling fund - a 50% uplift over the next 4 years as a consequence of CFN’s appointment in managing the government’s Community First Endowment Challenge.
The key success factors, from a CFN perspective, are the existence of people and businesses that are able to and want to support the Church’s Community Action program financially. CFN would expect some new donations to be sourced from local Community Foundation contacts, but the main contributions would be from people and businesses that the Community Foundations are not accessing currently, and for whom this is a new opportunity to support Community Action in a manner consistent with their beliefs and values.
The Community Foundation Network already works closely with the Church in many areas as it does with other faith groups and civil society organisations, and already makes a significant contribution embracing new ways of helping voluntary action. The recent campaign run by the Evening Standard for the ‘dispossessed’ of London was a typical example of this, and we look forward to a similarly enterprising partnership with the Church of England in the years ahead.
Community foundations are all registered charities and all the income they receive is used to further to the cause of community social action. The costs of running” Community Action Funds” have to be recovered from the fund and this means that to be an effective and efficient resource for the community the donated investment into a fund needs to be in the order of £25,000 over a 5 year period.
Localgiving.com Ltd provides community based groups with access to web based fundraising tools that allow smaller donations, with the gift aid uplitft of 25% applied to relevant donations automatically with no administrative burden.
Localgiving.com is also a pioneer of matched community giving, whereby a benefactor is able to set up a fund at a community foundation that will “match” on a £ for £ basis any donations that a local community organisation in a defined geographical area or category of work is able to raise through Localgiving.com. The diagram below shows how a donation of £100 from a basic rate taxpayer can produce income of £217 for the voluntary community organisation (which doesn't have to be a registered charity itself):
Plymouth and Reading have pioneered this approach to stimulating community action and this led to the announcement of a £1m challenge programme for all com unity organisations registered on localgiving.com running from December 2011 through until March 2012.
Benefactors gain because their philanthropic investment goes twice as far and because there is no risk that the organisations funded become grant dependent. Community organisations benefit because they have an incentive to work with to encourage local support, and people who respond can become long term supporters of the work in many financial and other ways.
Localgiving.com is a company that is 100% charitably owned (with Community Foundation Network owning 50%) and although it charges for its services these are competitive with other providers of we based services that are available only for registered charities and if any surplus is made it is all used for charitable purposes.
Community foundations vary in seize around the country, but even the smallest will typically be among the leading funders of community based activity in their area and will be able to alert people to other grant making organisations locally.
The grant making climate nationally for community action is quite demanding at present and many community foundations are seeing unprecedented demand for available funds partly because of reduced funding by local and national government and partly because existing community based voluntary organisations are seeing increased demand for their services.