OCF has published its 2016 accounts, which show that the organisation has successfully stewarded over £1 million in donations for the third consecutive year, and achieved a sustained level of grant-making. With the appointment of a new Chair, OCF also strengthened its governance and strategy during 2016.
The 2016 annual report emphasises OCF’s long history of community impact as the organisation celebrated its 21st birthday in 2016, with five and a half million pounds paid out in grants to 1,197 different organisations since 1995. More details of OCF’s history of grant-making can be found in our latest impact report.
However, the trustees report that despite OCF’s best efforts and those of many others, they remain deeply concerned by the number of social problems and the inequality that exists in Oxfordshire, which is in stark contrast to the general perception of our green and wealthy county. They emphasise that this is best articulated in OCF’s research report Oxfordshire Uncovered, which has provided an opportunity for OCF to reflect on its experience and knowledge gained over the past 21 years. In his introduction to the accounts, OCF’s Chair John Taylor comments: “What I find most exciting is how we now use this to help inform and shape our plans for the future as well as share our aspirations for how we might pool our resources, focus our efforts and work in partnership to develop more community-based solutions.
“It is my wish that when we look back in another 21 years, Oxfordshire Community Foundation will be proud of its achievements and reputation as the organisation that really does deliver a better life for everyone.”
The annual report outlines some plans to achieve greater focus and collaboration, which are now underway. For example, as a proactive response to the future closure of children’s centres across the county, OCF is using its community leadership role to convene a cross-section of key stakeholders to develop a series of community-led solutions that could help those looking to retain a level of universal and preventative care for families. OCF is currently supporting locally driven initiatives in Berinsfield, Faringdon and Thame.
Other plans in progress include OCF’s State of the Sector/Data for Good project, which aims to pull together all available data from various sources, enabling OCF to increase its knowledge of the charitable landscape across Oxfordshire. In addition, a series of Funders’ Forums are being convened to explore opportunities for collaboration and sharing of funding best practice amongst local trusts and foundations.
The 2016 accounts also demonstrate OCF’s commitment to good governance, with the Board itself refreshed during 2016, and a review of policies relating to IT usage, digital communications and data protection carried out. The Board clarified OCF’s reserves policy, and reviewed the foundation’s investment performance, with its two investment managers Brompton and CCLA achieving healthy relative performance against a difficult financial backdrop. The report notes that both managers have performed strongly in the more recent period, in spite of significant market volatility surrounding the UK’s EU referendum.
The report looks forward to the UK Community Foundations Quality Assurance 4 accreditation, a Charity-Commission-endorsed certificate for which OCF will be assessed in April 2017.
To view the full 2016 report and accounts, as well as those relating to previous years, please visit our accounts page