Could modern philanthropists plug charities' funding gap?

Volunteers pitch in to help plant 600 trees near Holtby, a project funded by a £2000 grant from the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

Volunteers pitch in to help plant 600 trees near Holtby, a project funded by a £2000 grant from the Two Ridings Community Foundation.

First published in News
Last updated

ON May 22, a reception will take place at one of Yorkshire's greatest stately homes.

It's a gathering of the great and the good which organisers hope will kick start a new era of philanthropy to rival the great Victorian philanthropists of the past.

The guests will be hosted by the Hon Simon Howard of Castle Howard, in support of the Two Ridings Community Foundation. It is hoped they will help the little known grant giving organisation as it tries to plug the funding gaps caused by austerity measures with modern philanthropy.

Community Foundations like Two Ridings began in the USA more than 100 years ago, and in the UK have grown up to include 48 organisations which give out small grants to local charities. The funds come from various sources, including local authorities and big charities like Comic Relief and the People’s Health Trust.

But with ever tightening belts at local authorities, Two Ridings has seen its funding from public bodies falling, and is seeing it ability to meet all the needs fall with it.

Vice chairman of the trustees, Maureen Macleod, said: “If we have a grant programme of £20,000, we will get double that in applications for the programme. In the early days there was sufficient funding available to cover the need we saw. Now, we only get a minimal amount of funding, but the need is still out there.”

The foundation serves the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire, as well as York and Hull, and in its 13 year history has given out almost £5.5 million in grants, including £1.3 million in the York area.

Most of its grants are small sums helping out community groups, like the £403 that helped Poppleton Road Memorial Hall buy new chairs, and the £800 that went to the Jack Raine Community Foundation to fund exercise and lifestyle classes for young adults.

Where the foundation used to rely on government funds and council grant programmes, it is now looking for local philanthropy - either individuals or businesses with a Corporate Social Responsibility target, to step into the breach, Maureen added.

Two Ridings is hoping to emulate the success of neighbouring Leeds Community Foundation, which received an anonymous donation of £10 million , which it later emerged came from Hesco Bastion millionaire Jimi Hesleden, who went on the donate a further £13 million.

“We think our version of Jimi Hesleden is out there, we are just waiting for them to come forward,” Maureen added.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:55am Wed 2 Apr 14

Zetkin says...

Or, these super-rich dilletantes could just pay their fair share of tax, like the rest of us.

But then they wouldn't get the chance to bask in the warm glow of fawning articles praising them for being "great" and "good", would they?

The fact that they're able to make such massive (tax-deductible) donations shows that they do have plenty of cash swilling about, and that the ideology of austerity is wholly-misplaced.
Or, these super-rich dilletantes could just pay their fair share of tax, like the rest of us. But then they wouldn't get the chance to bask in the warm glow of fawning articles praising them for being "great" and "good", would they? The fact that they're able to make such massive (tax-deductible) donations shows that they do have plenty of cash swilling about, and that the ideology of austerity is wholly-misplaced. Zetkin
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree