CFN announces record-breaking figures revealing Brits’ ‘blitz spirit’
Britain’s philanthropists are demonstrating ‘the blitz spirit’ when it comes to community giving, according to the Community Foundation Network (CFN), which has announced record-breaking figures in relation to the support of grassroots organisations.
An extra £33.5m was made available by private philanthropists to support local communities in the teeth of last year’s recession, and with monies from central and local government, business and others a total of £56m was made available to support grassroots organizations, CFN reports.
The number of individual donors setting up charitable funds to support local group rose by a record-breaking 60% over the course of the year, with 1,765 major charitable funds now managed by Community Foundations, and an average value of just under £80,000.
While, unsurprisingly, the overall value of grant-making fell by 15% during the course of the year, CFN leaders believe the huge increase in the number of new philanthropists shows the resilience of community-based philanthropy and its ability to contribute strongly in the year ahead.
Chief executive, Stephen Hammersley, believes that, “the figures show that the ‘spirit of the blitz’ in hard times is alive and well in Britain today. It shows that in times of trouble, the British people are ready to put their hands in their pockets to put something back into their local communities. It means that, as we come out of recession local community giving has the potential to underpin recovery and to make a real difference across the country.”
Ten of the 57 community foundations now work with individual clients who have committed at least £1m in the past five years to strengthen their communities. One new fund in Leeds was worth £10m alone in 2008/9.
In 2008/9, grants made by local community foundations were used to support 16,922 local grassroots organisations tackling issues from unemployment and poverty to anti-social behaviour and drugs rehabilitation. Community Foundations use their local knowledge to connect those with money with dynamic local organisations with the ability to use that money to make a lasting impact.