THE hunt is on for generous donors who can help a Yorkshire charity plug the growing cash gaps for dozens of community organisations across the region.

The Two Ridings Community Foundation is part of a growing movement of organisations - already widespread in the USA - which are bringing their model of charitable giving to the UK.

Since April 2014, it has given out grants worth £60,000 to projects in York, Ryedale and the East Riding - including 600 native trees planted to create a new wood in Holtby, a mental health resource centre in Ryedale, and support projects for the families of children with disabilities in York.

While some of its funds come from charities like Comic Relief, or from the community funds of commercial wind farms across Yorkshire, Two Ridings bosses are on a campaign to encourage more people in the area to give to their community.

Chief Executive Jan Garrill said: "Two Ridings is one of the the smaller community foundations in the country - but we know that in this area there are a lot of people who love their community and really want to support it.

"Our grants are always oversubscribed, and we could give out the money we have two or three times over."

What's more, Jan says, tax incentives for charitable giving mean they can make a donation of £200,000 into £500,0000 through tax and Government match funding, and they can use their local knowledge and grants processes to make sure cash gets to the causes donors really care about.

She added: "If it's getting young people in Filey into sport, we can reach some really good small organisations with grants.

"Or if someone knows York is an affluent area, but has pockets of deprivation, we can get grants to projects like parenting classes or support for people with mental health problems."

Through the year, Jan and her team have been working hard to encourage more people to think about charitable giving in their area - and stressing that philanthropy does not have about "the great and the good" making large donations to traditional things like the arts.

"We have been trying to get the word out in professional networking groups, because we have some funds from individuals and some from companies.

"Jimi Heselden, the Hesco Bastion millionnaire, gave millions to the Leeds Community Foundation because he was really passionate about Leeds, and we know there are people out there just as passionate about York, or Malton.

"We have done some research, and we know that major donors tend to be self-made people because they often want their children to be able to make their own way in the world."

And while a brand new fund would need a donation of around £25,000 to set up a reasonable endowment, smaller donations could be made to Two Ridings' existing funds in the areas it covers.