Local charities make up the lifeblood of our communities and make a daily difference to millions of people. The Revitalising Trusts initiative, announced in the Government’s Civil Society strategy, will provide a huge boost to local charities by distributing funds from inactive trusts to good causes.
There are many charitable trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. The original founders and trustees may have passed away and many of the funds are now relatively small pots of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful and local impact. Collectively these trusts amount to a significant amount which could make a huge difference to local communities.
In 2011 Lancaster City Council Cabinet decided to transfer nine dormant charity funds to the Community Foundation for Lancashire. These funds had been left to the council in bequests and endowments, but over the years had fallen dormant. The decision to transfer the funds was taken in order that the Community Foundation for Lancashire could bring the money back into circulation, by finding contemporary uses which reflected the funds’ original aims and the council’s current priorities.
The Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission are working with UK Community Foundations to transfer up to £20million of inactive trusts to Community Foundations to invest into local communities. It is expected that this will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community and voluntary groups every year.
Community Foundations are established, trusted charities that support local communities across the UK. Community Foundations reach every postcode in the UK and focus on the most pressing needs in an area. Community Foundations are leading grant makers and have a strong track record of supporting communities. They are reliable with a trusted model of delivery and are all quality accredited.
The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society have chosen to work with Community Foundations based on their expertise and experience in supporting communities and ensuring that funds are distributed well to tackle local need.
Minister for Civil Society, Tracey Crouch said, ‘This initiative will make a real difference to people and communities across the country. By working with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission, we will honour the original aims of these now-inactive charitable trusts by redistributing funds to help those that need it most."
Rae Brooke, CEO of Community Foundation for Lancashire said, “Working with the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission provides us with fantastic opportunity to support communities across Lancashire and help those in need. Our local expertise means that we can identify current social issues and provide effective management of dormant funds in order to maximise their impact at local level.”