CFFC History & Information
The Community Foundation for Calderdale was established in 1989 and incorporated in April 1991.
The progressive growth of the endowment fund in the Community Foundation’s formative years raised it to almost £2m in the year 2000, following a couple of successful ‘Fundraising Challenges’. Development since 2000 has been steady, and a significant boost of £2.6 million from the Kathleen Mary Denham Estate contributed to an endowment currently valued at about £8 million.
Annual grant making in the corresponding period was dramatic, rising from £288,000 in 2001 to over £1.6 million in 2004/5. This sharp increase was particularly a result of the Community Foundation distributing grants from the Local Network Fund (LNF) on behalf of the Department for Education & Skills (DfES). Following the cessation of LNF, grant making has nevertheless averaged approximately £800,000 per annum in financial years 2007/8 and 2008/9.
Whilst it has always been a priority for the Community Foundation to raise funds in order to grow its endowment fund (which enables it to make grants in Calderdale in perpetuity), it has not always been easy to maintain the necessary progress. Indeed the opportunities that have arisen to distribute statutory sources of flow-through funding led to a trend whereby many community foundations gave priority to securing this type of funding, sometimes distracting resources, but providing great immediate benefit to voluntary/community groups, more of which were able to fund projects and activities for the benefit of local people.
A changing economic landscape
The focus for income generation changed significantly in 2009 from an emphasis on fundraising events to adopting a clear strategy around boosting membership income and channelling time into developing relationships with local professional advisers with the primary aim of attracting more legacies and boosting the endowment. The Community Foundation hosted a pilot professional adviser event in August 2009 and a minimum 4 of these events are now planned each year.
At the start of 2010 the community foundation landscape in Yorkshire looked somewhat different to that in 2000, when the Community Foundation for Calderdale and the South Yorkshire Community Foundation were the only two foundations in the region. Calderdale now shares the West Yorkshire patch with Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees and Bradford community foundations; and more widely in Yorkshire with a North & East Yorkshire Community Foundation. The Community Foundation for Calderdale assisted the development of the emerging foundation in Kirklees, the One Community Foundation, during 2009/10. The knock-on effect of ‘full community foundation coverage’ of the sub-region inevitably affects resources previously enjoyed by Calderdale's foundation alone, but the signs are that the expertise and networks of all the individual foundations are attracting new schemes.
The economic downturn (Sept 2008 onwards), which included the collapse of HBoS and the bailing out of a number of financial institutions, brought about a review of the the Community Foundation’s investment strategy, and a decision to significantly redistribute monies from financial institutions to investment in local property. May 2009 saw the purchase of 19 Horton Street for £1.26 million and in September 2009 the Friends Meeting House for £295,000. In November 2009 the Board agreed for Next Step Trust, the ground floor tenants of Community Foundation House, to expand and utilise the first floor in May 2010; requiring either a further investment in property or suitable offices to rent. The return on the overall investment portfolio will provide much needed grant funding to the Third sector in Calderdale and provide the operational income to continue to promote and encourage philanthropy and distribute grants particularly to smaller organisations unable to enter into commissioning arrangements and service level agreement with public sector bodies.
Milestones and Achievements
- Provided vital information on the mapping of need in the area
- Successfully tendered for funding schemes and provided several million pounds of grant aid to a wide range of groups working across the borough and West Yorkshire
- Attracted membership income from large and small companies, individuals and voluntary groups
- Played a leading role in influencing and shaping Calderdale’s Third Sector
- Played a leading role with the Council and statutory agencies in building the capacity of the voluntary sector and improving representation - including the hosting of a network development team whose remit is to build up the capacity of Third Sector organisations to participate fully in key partnerships and in the delivery of key services in Calderdale
- Purchased Community Foundation House, and subsequently 19 Horton Street and the Friends Meeting House to spread investment risk and generate further income
- Attracted a legacy from the Denham Family of over £2.6 million.
- Gained the Community Foundation Network Quality Mark and retained the Investors in People Award
- Made a significant contribution to the development of the national network including the establishing of the Leeds Community Foundation in 2004, Wakefield Community Foundation in 2008 and the One Community Foundation (Kirklees) in 2009/10
- Built an endowment to almost £8m to date