With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to take a toll on the Third Sector, public support for charities is at an all-time low, with charitable donations decreasing by almost 20% since 2013. Despite the drop in donations for charities across the UK, there has been a significant increase in the need for local organisations and their services.
The West Midlands leading grant-giving charity, Heart of England Community Foundation, has worked tirelessly to secure funding in the last 12 months in order to help grassroots charities and organisations continue to operate, despite the decline of donations within the Third Sector.
Heart of England Community Foundation’s Chief Executive, Tina Costello, has seen first-hand the struggles that small charities and grassroots projects are facing and believes that community foundations are key to helping them survive. She said:
“The effects of COVID-19 have had a disproportionate impact on some of our most disadvantaged communities which has seen an increase in demand for services grassroots organisations provide in their local neighbourhoods. The Foundation has provided a lifeline for many of these organisations but without our donors we wouldn’t be in a position to offer a helping hand. Smaller voluntary and community organisations are often under the radar of national funders, and we see ourselves as advocates for these groups, raising their profile and the amazing work they do.
“As a community foundation, we are dedicated to supporting the communities in our local area by working with a range of donors who care about the West Midlands and Warwickshire. With the help of donations from businesses, individuals, local authorities and the government, community foundations across the UK can strengthen neighbourhoods by awarding organisations with funding and support. Community foundations are a vital support for their voluntary and community organisations, as they provide investment in the local community and programmes that promote happier and healthier lives in the heart of the region.”
As donations decrease, the Foundation’s donors have been resilient in their continued support. During the last two years, in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation awarded over £5.9m to over 1,300 charities and projects, supporting over 1.2m beneficiaries across the West Midlands and Warwickshire. In its biggest grant-giving year to date, the Foundation helped those impacted by COVID-19 and supported charities helping to eliminate poverty, mental health and wellbeing issues, in order to create stronger communities within the region.
“As charities and local organisations work hard to make it through the end of 2021 and into 2022, local businesses must recognise the work carried out by these organisations and pledge their support. By helping us to fill the funding gap, we’re able to support those most affected in the region. Supporting your local community foundation can help to sustain projects that make a real difference to those in need,“ concluded Tina.
For more information about Heart of England Community Foundation head to www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk