The Community Foundation for Calderdale was established in 1989 and incorporated in April 1991. The progressive growth of the endowment fund in the 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 £9m.
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 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 averaged approximately £800,000 per annum.
Whilst it has always been a priority for the Foundation to raise funds in order to grow the endowment fund it has not always been easy given the many opportunities that arose between 2001 to 2010, to distribute statutory sources of flow-through funding which created a distraction from endowment building activity.
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 number of these events are now planned each year.
Between 2000 and 2010 the community foundation landscape has changed significantly in Yorkshire.
Community Foundation for Calderdale and the South Yorkshire Community Foundation have been joined with community foundations in Leeds, Wakefield and Kirklees; and more widely in Yorkshire with a Two Ridings Community Foundation covering North & East Yorkshire.
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 ‘increased community foundation coverage’ of the sub-region inevitably affects resources previously enjoyed by Calderdale’s foundation alone, but the early signs are encouraging i.e. the expertise and networks of all the individual foundations are attracting new grants 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 Foundation’s investment strategy, and a decision to significantly redistribute monies from financial institutions to invest 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 at Community Foundation House, to expand and utilise the first floor in May 2010; requiring either a further investment in property or relocation to 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 operating 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.