Staffordshire Community Funds
A Community Fund is a specialist fund that has been developed to pool small contributions, and part of our Century Club scheme, to create a general grants fund for an area, that is restricted by geography only. Each fund has a panel of local ‘donor advisors’, people who help to raise funds and steer the distribution of any grants in that area. The area funds are;
- Cannock Chase – Chase Community Fund
- East Staffordshire – East Staffordshire Community Fund
- Lichfield – We Love Lichfield
- Newcastle under Lyme – Newcastle Borough Community Fund
- South Staffordshire – South Staffordshire Community Fund
- Stafford – Stafford Borough Community Fund
- Staffordshire Moorlands – More for the Moorlands
- Stoke on Trent – Stoke on Trent Community Fund
- Tamworth – Tamworth Forever
Whilst not community funds in the strict sense, our High Sheriff Fund and our Staffordshire Charitable Trust work in a similar way, but cover the whole county of Staffordshire.
A community fund is an endowment fund that will distribute grants to that area specifically. The remit of the fund and the causes it will support are flexible, to allow us to respond to changing needs across the county. It also allows us to vary the support given in each area, to make sure we are truly reflective of an areas strengths and needs for support.
Each year the return from the investment will be given away as grants to individuals, community groups and local charities. As only the interest is given away it means that the fund will exist forever, meaning there will always be a source of grant funding available to the many needy individuals and community groups in the area. The aim of each fund is to raise £500,000 over five years. At current returns, if only 5% is given away each year, it means that we can make grant awards to each area of £25,000 per year, forever. Of course as the fund grows, it will be worth more each year, which means that the amount of money we can give away will be more.
Aside from donations from local people and local businesses we can also add dormant funds to the local community funds. These are charitable funds that might have been set up many years ago for various causes. Due to national and regional developments there may be no need for these funds any longer – certain funds may be directed towards things that are now financed by the Government or the local council, or the need may not exist any longer. These funds may only be worth a few hundred pounds each and can offer very little at today’s costs and prices, but when they are added to other donations, as in a community fund, it means that they can still continue to benefit the geographical area for which they were intended.
Each year there are various fundraising efforts made to increase the size of each fund, meaning people in an area can raise money for a local charity where they can see the benefits of their work first hand. Often, the mayor of each area will add some of the money raised in their tenure to the local community fund, ensuring that the area continues to benefit from their hard work long after they have left office.
Each community fund page will give further details about that fund specifically and details of how you can get involved. The benefit of these funds is that every penny really does count – it’s all about the strength of a community pulling together – and it’s surprising how quickly those pennies mount up.