Your Questions Answered
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1) What is a Community Foundation?
Community Foundations make a difference by bringing together local donors and philanthropists with dynamic, local organisations who need funding and other support.
Founded in the heart of local communities, each Community Foundation is unique, identifying local needs and mobilising local resources. We work with donors, large and small, to make sure their gift has the greatest impact. This distinctive and personalised approach to philanthropy means many different kinds of donors use community foundations to manage their funds including individuals, companies, charitable trusts and government agencies.
2) What is Leeds Community Foundation ?
The Leeds Community Foundation is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee and was formally launched in 2004. Since then we have made incredible progress and are ranked in the top 5 in the UK Community Foundation movement in terms of the size of our grant-making.
We are an entirely independent organisation and, although we maintain close links with Leeds City Council and other statutory partners, we don’t receive any core funding from them nor do they control or direct any of our activities. An independent board of Directors/Trustees, elected from the local private, statutory and voluntary sector, are legally and financially responsible for the Foundation. The day-to-day management of the Foundation comes under the responsibility of the Chief Executive.
We offer a unique mechanism for giving to charity in that we are not cause-specific but are Leeds-specific. Our flexibility and personalised service allow donors to specify how, where and over what time period their money is spent. We offer an opportunity to channel help towards meeting local needs and allow donors to see tangible results in their local community.
4) Why should I give through Leeds Community Foundation, rather than direct to a charity?
As a potential donor, picking your way round the charitable world can be a difficult task. Who, what, where or how do you wish to help? This is where we can help, with our in-depth knowledge of local communities.
5) How does Leeds Community Foundation finance itself ?
All Community Foundations have to generate income to cover running costs. LCF receives income from: our 100 club patronage scheme; donations and fund-raising events; and by winning tenders to run grants programmes. We also take a contribution from any donor funds that are set up, to cover the costs of the grant-making advice and support we provide. Our donors agree this is a cost-effective and less time-consuming for them, as well as benefiting from our expertise.
6) I can’t afford a big donation but I still want to support my local community.
All donations are welcome – large or small, regular or one-off. Smaller donations are pooled in our themed funds, or can build up over time towards a larger Personal Fund. Making a gift tax-effectively under Gift Aid can increase the value of your donation. We also offer a mentoring scheme through our Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Programme so you can share your time and expertise with our social enterprises.
7) Corporate giving – why select Leeds Community Foundation as your charity of choice?
We make corporate giving enjoyable, straightforward and hassle-free. We are ideally placed to help companies wanting to get more involved and have a bigger impact in Leeds. We can advise on Corporate Responsibility programmes, introduce you to organisations who can help with volunteering activities and provide expert advice to staff about fundraising activities and selecting local groups to benefit. This can help with staff as well as improving your corporate reputation too but, most of all, it has a tangible impact on the lives of people here, in Leeds.
8) As a professional advisor,why should I introduce my clients to Leeds Community Foundation?
We don’t profess to be expert advisors in legal or financial issues, but we are experts about charitable giving, community needs, and finding or creating effective solutions that have the greatest impact. That is why working alongside professional advisors is a key part of what we do, marrying our expertise with yours, to provide a fully inclusive service to clients. For more information on our services click here.
9) Is establishing a Personal Fund through a Community Foundation a good alternative to setting up my own trust?
Establishing a Personal Fund through Leeds Community Foundation is a straightforward and convenient alternative to setting up your own charitable trust. It can be set up very quickly (literally in hours) and is flexible enough so as to be able to be easily changed, over time. You don’t need to get involved in any administration or financial issues, but can focus on the impact you want to achieve through giving. We can also assist with setting up Memorial Funds to honour the memory, passions and wishes of your loved ones.
10) How do Leeds Community Foundation distribute money and who do you fund?
Leeds Community Foundation is the city’s largest independent grant-maker, and has distributed over £22 million since we were established in 2004. We primarily support locally-based community groups and charities in the Leeds Metropolitan District. We manage a number of different funds on behalf of a range of donors, each of which has specific eligibility criteria depending on the fund’s aims and impact.
11) How do you manage grant-making?
A board of trustees governs overall LCF activity but we have a strategic Grants Committee comprising trustees and volunteers with a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the local community, grant-making, monitoring and evaluation. We also draw on further expert advice from the community by involving volunteers on our grants committees. Comprehensive grant-making policies and procedures, combined with extensive knowledge and understanding of the local community and its needs, ensure grants are targeted responsibly and carefully.