Last year, 13 community foundations across the UK received gifts of £1 million and above, working with private donors, corporations and trusts and foundations.

This trend illustrates that major charitable investors do not only give to higher education institutions, and suggests that local community causes are at the forefront of donors’ minds when making decisions about their wealth or corporate social responsibility policies.

Community foundations have proven themselves to be trustworthy partners and advisors to those wanting to give something significant back to their local area. The Cumbria Young People’s Fund was established thanks to the generosity of someone who left £1.2m in his will. The income from the fund benefits groups like Cowran Training, a working farm that offers hands-on training and educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people and adults.

In Milton Keynes, Margaret Powell left £2m in the capable hands of the Powell Foundation on her death. Their trustees asked the MK Community Foundation to manage and administer the income and since then, the fund has grown significantly, awarding over three million pounds’ worth of grants in the past 22 years. What is more, the Powell Foundation recently gifted their worth to the community foundation, and benefited from a government match that increased its value from £4m to £6m. The resulting named fund will now provide a significant increase in support for frail elderly and disabled people in perpetuity, through £250k’s worth of grants annually.

In Oxfordshire, there are many educational institutions for major donors to choose from, several of which are already very well off. OCF is helping donors increase the reach of their philanthropy by enabling them to give to a more diverse portfolio of deserving causes. We have been working with several of these visionary people, who have made community investments nearing £1m each:

  • David and Claudia Harding Foundation
    David Harding is founder of Winton Capital Management, now one of the world’s largest hedge fund companies. Through their private foundation, David and his wife Claudia already give generously to Cambridge University and the Science Museum in London. OCF has helped them to add a local element to their substantial philanthropic portfolio by welcoming a significant contribution to our endowment fund, which was uplifted by a further 50% through the government’s Community First match scheme.
  • Anonymous fund
    Sometimes, our donors wish to remain anonymous. One of our newest philanthropy fellows started working with us after selling her business. Wanting to build on her existing charitable endeavours, she has used our Community First match to boost an already significant donation. This themed fund will focus on sustainability, to benefit our community and its people, animals and environment.

Over the past two years, OCF has partnered with these donors’ financial and legal advisors to help them get the most from their charitable giving. We have significant expertise to offer individuals and families, corporate donors and existing trusts and foundations, and can give practical, real-world advice about leaving a legacy.