PERSPECTIVE3-5 min to read

Practical Philanthropy: ‘Back to your roots’ with Kate Markey of London Community Foundation

Community giving can have a tangible and immediate impact.

20/09/2023
AdobeStock_394156122 new size

Authors

Lyn Tomlinson
Head of Impact and Philanthropy

In our latest episode of Practical Philanthropy, our Head of Impact, Lyn Tomlinson, speaks to Kate Markey, the CEO of the London Community Foundation about “going back to your roots” and how to give effectively in your local community – or other communities in need.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

The views expressed in the podcast and transcript below are those of the speakers and not those of Cazenove Capital. This podcast is intended for information purposes only and should not be deemed to constitute the provision of professional advice in any way.

You may also listen to the podcast on:

Below is a transcript of Lyn Tomlinson and Kate Markey's conversation.

Helpful resources mentioned in the podcast:

  1. UK Community Foundation
  2. The London Community Foundation

Podcast transcript

Lyn Tomlinson; Intro

Welcome back to Practical Philanthropy, with me, Lyn Tomlinson, Head of Impact at Cazenove Capital. And this is our fourth episode; and we are shortly going 'back to our roots' to look at how you can give back to your local community – whether that's your community now, or the one you grew up in. But before we do, I wanted to share some reflections on this podcast journey.

I started this podcast because I'm really privileged to see such incredible philanthropy expertise out there. Whether that's philanthropists who have been funding specific areas for decades, or the people on the front line delivering the projects that they fund. And I really wanted to bring that expertise and experience, both to our clients, and to other actors in the philanthropy sector. And what's really struck me, having had the privilege to listen to these inspiring people over this series, is just how deep that expertise and their knowledge of the sector they specialise in runs. How open they are to sharing that knowledge, and how willing they are to collaborate with others. And I've really learnt a lot, and I hope you found them useful so far. Even if it's just one small piece of insight that's really got you thinking or has helped you with your philanthropy, then my guests and I will have done our job.

So let's get to today's episode, where we explore an area that I know is close to many people's hearts, and that's how do you give back to communities that have played a role in helping shape who you've become. In this episode, I talk to Kate Markey, CEO of the London Community Foundation.

Lyn Tomlinson

So welcome, Kate, to Practical Philanthropy. We're in our beautiful recording studio here at Schroders and talking into what looks like furry covered saucepans at the moment, which has slightly put me off a bit. But you're a journalist, so presumably you're used to this.

Kate Markey

Yes. You have to get to a point where you ignore the massive black arm and kind-of 'saucepan' that's staring you in the face.

Lyn Tomlinson

But how did you go from journalism to being the CEO of the London community foundation? Just tell us a little bit about you.

Kate Markey

So I started my journalism career on the local newspapers in Liverpool, and they were the free newspapers where you are literally walking the streets and doing the crown court, the local police stations, etc., and you really learn your accountability to your community, especially when you get things wrong. And I then kind of did some work on the regionals as well, but I was getting to the point where I could see what the trajectory of what that was. And I also felt those papers weren't necessarily covering some of the stories that I was really interested in and also potentially not offering solutions. And so I left to go and work for something called The Big Issue as it was starting, and then became editor of The Big Issue in the north and was there for eight years and joined there as a journalist. The Big Issue was a social enterprise that was trying to radically do things differently. And I left committed to wanting to work in the social sector and be part of a solution.

Lyn Tomlinson

That's amazing. And ended up at the London Community Foundation. And so could you just tell us, for those who are listening, who are not familiar to community foundations, sort of why they exist, what they are, what they do?

Kate Markey

Absolutely. So we are all charities ourselves. We exist to inspire local philanthropy, to invest in the issues that matter most to local communities. There's 48 of us in this country. We're built on a US Canadian model of community foundations, where the sector is much bigger. But the common thread through all of us is to inspire philanthropy, to be able to take donors on a journey with their giving, but to really focus on issues that matter locally and to be local champions for what's needed locally.

Lyn Tomlinson

That's brilliant. And small community charities are a real lifeline for so many of our most vulnerable people. So can you just tell us a little bit more about the sort of scale and breadth of how those organisations are supporting various groups within local communities?

Kate Markey

If I give you a bit of a picture of the kind of organisations that the London Community Foundation supports. So, a few years ago, we did a publication called 'Voices In The Front Line' and that gave a picture of the types of organisations that we look to support. 75% have less than five employees, so there's a significant volunteer engagement and that's important when you think about their economic value to the local community. One third of them are working at a borough level, so that intimate connection to local areas. Turnover, half a million, many of them much less than even that. And if you think about the average annual grant size that London Community Foundation gives on behalf of our donors – £23,000. What we're talking about here is organisations whose purpose isn't necessarily to scale, but it is to go deeper and to have much long-term connections to the local community, long-term local intelligence and referral networks, and to work with some of the most marginalised people in our communities. And I think we saw that really during COVID as well. We saw local charities pivot very quickly and they are the ones that moved rapidly, they pivoted their models, and they were the ones that were providing essential food, care, safeguard, essential services really quickly. And covering a range of issues that are also kind of very pertinent to that local area.

Kate Markey

I think kind of one of my fears now – if we talk about the things that kind of keep you awake at night – I worry that local charities and small charities have often kind of been seen as the nice add-ons.

Kate Markey

Our experience in the funding that we've done through COVID, through Grenfell [tower], through now, through the cost-of-living, is, the more marginalised people are, the more dependent they are on those local charitable organisations. And that's the thing that concerns me. That actually how much more dependent and how vital these organisations are.

Lyn Tomlinson

So could you talk to us and give us a little bit of insight into the breadth and the range of issues that these local community charities are trying to solve for and also just unpack a little bit why they are often best placed to come up with the most effective solution?

Kate Markey

So often what we find is there are certain issues that local charitable organisations or community groups have a really, really vital role to play because of their local connections and the trust that they have. One of those is violence affecting young people. If you think about it, actually kind of the under. One of the underlying issues around violence affecting young people is poverty, but actually kind of how that plays out is often on a postcode and neighbourhood basis. And so actually having really intimate knowledge of people in the area, other connections in the area and with the police and also with social services, whether that be an informal, or actually often informal basis, is actually really vital to number one, looking after young people who are affected, but also trying to find some level of solution to them.

Kate Markey

I can give you one really great example of an organisation that we have supported over the years through our donor support. There's the organisation called Juvenis and they're based in Lambeth. They are part of the Divert programme, and that is a collaboration between Metropolitan Police, Lambeth Council and this wonderful charity that's led by people with solid youth support experience and with a big heart around young people. And what that connection does is, at a point where a young person of a certain age is arrested, that's a reachable moment – a touching point where they can help them think about what they're going to do with their life and the risk they're at. But it's that coordinated approach, but it's the local intelligence that Juvenis is bringing to the table there that makes them really vital, but actually also kind of quite cost effective.

Lyn Tomlinson

Yes. And could you just talk to us about whether there's any cold spots in funding that you're seeing? So areas where philanthropists typically don't like funding?

Kate Markey

I think that's an interesting question, because what this comes down to is about motivations for giving. And we all have it, don't we? We all have it. It's either an issue that's kind of very close to us personally, or there are lots of complex reasons why people want to give and why they don't want to give.

Kate Markey

I would say, actually one of the challenges we have in London – London being a series of villages –  we are 32, or 33 boroughs if you include City of London – and you will find people wanting to give on their doorstep, which is amazing. And we will always encourage that, but also suggest people to consider other geographical areas: so outside of London, boroughs or areas because they're not the big boroughs in London. We do see definite cold spots there. And we will always try to encourage donors to think about giving 'pan-London', because people's lives often don't happen on a borough basis.

Kate Markey

And particularly if you are a very vulnerable person, actually your life will be quite complex. You will be on lots of different case-loads of organisations trying to help you.

Kate Markey

We always try to encourage donors to think about the issues that are really impacting their local areas, but actually also to think about how big issues also play out locally. So one of the funds that we are considering at the moment, and we are fundraising for, is thinking about misogyny and thinking about young people, particularly young men, obviously, and actually how that's impacting them and their relationships with women around them. There's an acknowledgment there that that's quite a brave fund to think about and actually also where funds are coming from. So we are also very cognisant of the fact that actually kind of some funds might be more appropriate for our individual donors compared to kind of some of our corporate donors, because we work across individual corporate and also public sector and government funds as well. But actually kind of how this issue was really playing out – because it's all interconnected – whether it's around violence against women and girls, whether it's around street violence and also around mental health. These issues, on a personal basis, are actually also very interconnected. And it's also about demonstrating the evidence of kind of what interventions can look like and how they help.

Lyn Tomlinson

And just on the London landscape more broadly. So I was listening to James Rutledge of Maiden Stoke – I'm sure you know him – and he was talking about how certain towns suffer from this concept he calls 'the brain drain'. And the technical term I believe is apparently 'labour diaspora'. Is that right? Diaspora? I had to Google that. And I love his articulation of that because I just think it's so much more relatable that 'brain drain' you have in these towns. And it's this concept that people are desperate to leave the places that they grew up in for many reasons, if they're living in poorer parts of the country. So, they've got a strong social background and they want to progress, so they leave. Or they've been living in poverty, and they want a better life, so they leave. And what you then get is this sort of downward spiral that we get. The North-South divide is an obvious one of those. But what happens then is when they are successful, settle down, create careers, or maybe they've come to London, is when they want to give back, they often go back to their roots, which is what we've called the title of this podcast, and give where they grew up.

Lyn Tomlinson

And that's probably a double-edged sword for you as the London Community Foundation, because everyone thinks of London as this just extraordinary wealthy city, but it's a city of extremes. And I just wondered if you could talk us through just your experience of how that gap is played out in practise and just what it looks like in reality.

Kate Markey

I think we all know that London is one of the greatest cities in the world, but, as you say, it has incredible disparity and real inequality. If I give you some of the statistics that always stick with me: it's home to ten of the poorest boroughs in the country, 56,000 households in temporary accommodation – I mean, that is staggering, absolutely staggering – and a third of children in London, 600,000 youngsters living in poverty.

Kate Markey

Those are really, stark messages when also kind of we think about how often we live our lives in London, that we all come to London if we're not from here, but, also if we're from here, to take full advantage of what the city has to offer. And often we run our lives at 100 miles an hour and that makes the population kind of quite transient as well. But, when we are here, we are taking full advantage of what the city has to offer and making the most of ourselves and our time here. And, kind of what we see is, as you've rightly said, that people will want to give back to where they're from first, whether that's in this country or abroad. And it is only at times of kind of real crisis where we see an uplift in people giving to London, but, as you say, it is a series of villages, but people also live in their own villages as well, much like in other places in the country. But it's how do we kind of encourage them to think about 'perhaps they were made in London?' And I think there's an interesting debate there about levelling-up and, levelling-up nationally and levelling-up globally. And that when London is good, everywhere else is good in the country, but how do we get people to stop and think, actually, 'London made me'.

Lyn Tomlinson

That's really nice. I love that. 'Made in London'.

Kate Markey

So watch this space, obviously.

Lyn Tomlinson

And can I talk about collaboration? Because it's one of the reasons why I started this podcast journey that we're on, is that I'm in a really wonderful position where I get to see people doing really brilliant things and they've been working in sectors for almost decades. And then on the other side, I also see people who are just starting out in philanthropy, so they're really excited by it and it's hard to do and hard to do well. And what I would really love is that if people who are starting out learn and collaborate with those who've been in the sector for ten years, because I think they'll find it more enjoyable, but also resources will go further. They can learn from lessons and get the most out of their giving much quicker than if they try and go it alone. So you mentioned something really interesting there about the idea that people will pool money in a crisis. So, for example, I'm thinking with the awful Grenfell disaster, where you had 64,000 funders provide over £10 million.

Kate Markey

Yes, 64,000 donations, reaching over £10 million. And that was a combination of an incredible outpouring. We have a relationship with the Evening Standard – and it was an incredible outpouring because of the coverage obviously, particularly as they were doing alongside everybody else, the other media outlets. But, also a real outpouring of corporate donations, outpouring from everywhere, to be honest, it was just utterly overwhelming.

Lyn Tomlinson

Yes. And so, there's that crisis response, but when we're not in crisis, there isn't the same level of collaboration. Do you have any insight as to why.

Kate Markey

We saw it with Grenfell, we saw it with COVID – less so actually – on the cost-of-living, I think there's a very natural urge when we are all shocked by what we're presented with, that we just want to help. And I think we all do that in our own giving. I think people go through a process of 'I just have to help'. But I think also it's human nature: we have a desire to desperately try and get back to some level of normality. And we all saw that during COVID didn't we? But let me give you an instance of where the difference happens. So during COVID, we were very lucky to be able to collaborate with the National Emergencies Trust as part of the UKCF Network of Community Foundations. We had set up an appeal and had money out of the door to support emergency provision within four days. We committed three times the amount of money that we normally do with the same level of staff. Now, when we talk about efficiencies – the reason why that happened A) because the staff were absolutely amazing – it will be one of my proudest moments on how the LCF team were.

Kate Markey

But B) what it was also was that all of the donors who worked with us rang and said, take the restrictions off my funds. Do what you need to do and come back and just tell us what happened. But actually what we saw is people's desire to get back to normal. What came back is those things about 'what do I want my fund to do?', 'how do I want my fund to be?' And actually  'is it now meeting what I want to do?' And my plea – and we saw this across absolutely everything – is in our rush to get back to normality. Did we forget about how we felt when we gave those funds? What the benefits we all had of those funds being delivered differently? And what would we forego now? And actually what is the difference between an emergency and a crisis? Because we are in a crisis now.

Lyn Tomlinson

Permanent crisis.

Kate Markey

But actually, why is that different to an emergency?

[Additional insight from Lyn]

It was so heartening to hear Kate talk about the impact of donors lifting their restrictions on funding during COVID and other crises. And how that enabled them to deploy three times the money they usually do with the same level of staff. And this rapid response and way of funding undoubtedly had an incredible impact on people's lives. And given how successful this approach was, I find it interesting to hear that over time, post crisis, that donors have gone back to adding restrictions to their donations. The need and benefits of philanthropists providing unrestricted funding has been raised by every single guest and every single charity I have spoken to on this podcast. In fact, unrestricted funding is so valuable to charities that research undertaken by NFP Synergy of 286 charitable organisations found they would rather have half a million of unrestricted funding than 1 million of restrictive funding. Importantly, smaller charities valued unrestricting funding more than larger charities for obvious reasons. Therefore, I think the message to Philanthropies is really clear from this sector. If you are going to support a charity, the best support you can provide is unrestricted multi-year funding.

Lyn Tomlinson

Well, that's interesting. And what's also interesting is I think people avoid the larger charities because they feel that the money is wasted is a horrible word, but people tend to feel a little bit removed from the actual interventions. Whereas you are working, or were working with those larger charities, weren't you, in times of crisis to get the money out the door? So, could you just talk to us about that relationship and dynamic?

Kate Markey

Yeah, I think there's lots of different levels to this, but actually I would almost start by saying 'let's look at the role of the state'.

Kate Markey

So, the state has gone from a position of 'deliverer of services' in the broadest sense, to a 'commissioner of services', in the broadest sense, to 'a collaborator', in the broadest sense, to something in between all of those three now. And it is complicated. And also, that's on the backdrop of quite significant austerity-factually austerity.

Kate Markey

And so, I think what you see is – so we are dealing with this now and, we definitely know in some of the work that we do, particularly around things like violence against women and girls – there are very specific community led work that the public sector is really relying on. To help very, very marginalised women, particularly from certain communities and women with no recourse to public funds, to access services, because they know that they're not accessing mainstream institutional services. And, to a degree, they shouldn't. That kind of those services being provided by community led, very specific community led services is actually appropriate because that's where the trust, the understanding and some of that local cultural intelligence will be as well.

Kate Markey

I think there's another point around here as well that it isn't particularly new that both large charities – and by the way, please do not read this as a big charity bad, because I absolutely don't believe that. I think there has to and as appropriate, a place for everything – however, what we are seeing, is increasingly large charities coming either to us or going directly to charities that we might be supporting as a means of actually collaborating with them. Whether that's through funds' access to get to their beneficiaries because they know they're reaching them and they're not.

Kate Markey

In my previous life, I ran a recruitment agency for ex-offenders and had large outsourced providers who were doing employability work or ex-offender work coming to our organisation to reach the ex-offenders. Because for us, to be the additional service, when actually I knew what we were providing was the core service.

Lyn Tomlinson

Yeah, that's really interesting. On the government point, do you mind if we just go back to that a little bit? Because I think one of the reasons the interventions don't work as well – one, there's no money for prevention, is there? And also, whilst the state wants to deliver these services, they're not as good at delivering them because they're so far removed from the communities. They're sort of very top down.

Lyn Tomlinson

Is there anything that's going on around getting more... Power is the wrong word, but more... What's the word? Distribution, perhaps of assets locally. So that local communities actually say what their needs are and have more control over budgets. Is there anything you're seeing around that?

Kate Markey

I think there's some amazing examples and you're seeing it nationally. But I'm going to use a London example of where the state in its broadest sense is reaching out to say what do you need? And then saying, okay, help us design it. Then they are taking it in-house to then create and procure and then reengage. So there is a fund that we work with the Mayor's office that's supporting violence against women and girls in very specific communities. But there has been a real focus and we are seeing this. There are some really great examples across the country of co-design, collaboration – where local government is coming out to say 'what is needed', 'who is best at delivering it', and then providing funding and support for those organisations to deliver.

Kate Markey

The critical point, however, is that we've got to get the funding right. We've got to get away from short-term funding. Because if you put it into context of saying, if you work on the premise that the organisations that we are talking about today are increasingly providing a vital service, it is not add on, it's not additionality, it is critical services. Some of it being funded by government, but some of it not. But if you also then look at the type of funding that's typically given to small charities, the dearth of short term funding with disproportionate reporting attached to it – and by the way, I'm challenging my own organisation on that as well, absolutely – then if we're combining vital services, short-term funding and disproportionate reporting, alongside looking at their own financial resilience, we have to say, 'how do we create funding environments?' And think about going back to what happened during COVID and what was it that we felt we'd lost when we were funding like that?

Lyn Tomlinson

I talked to Mary Rose Gunn about that point, because they fund small charities, The Fore, as an organisation. And she was talking about putting the burden on you as a philanthropist. So you do the bulk of the research. You do the bulk of the legwork. And Sophie Marples was very clear on that as well.

Lyn Tomlinson

I mean, they have 36 charities each year that applied to them for funding and they fund 33. And she was talking about exactly that, but that was at the selection process. i.e. don't waste these organisations time. They're so stretched and they're so wonderful, and every time you are asking them for something else and loading them up, you're taking them away from delivering what you want them to.

Lyn Tomlinson

Do you have anything around the numbers of people in the UK who are interacting with charities daily? Who think they're interacting with government or other organisations? Do you have anything on that? Because I think it's interesting that from my perspective, people think, 'oh, the social sector is this tiny little thing on the edge of society'. And I know it's worth 60 billion to the UK economy.

Lyn Tomlinson

It's the most diverse sector in terms of leadership. If you want to support women, people with disabilities, ethnicity, you should be funding in this sector, because those organisations are disproportionately represented in that sector. So do you have anything around that?

Kate Markey

Do you mean people who think that they are, if they're talking to someone to try and get help, that they're talking to government, but actually.

Lyn Tomlinson

And just the numbers of social enterprises and charities who are doing that delivery, like you said, that procurement, that delivery piece for government.

Kate Markey

It is disproportionately large charities. And that is part of the challenge. And, you can also consider why people think also then they're engaging with the state. And I've had that experience myself. I remember my mother-in-law being in hospital, being picked up to be taken home in an ambulance. And we got in the ambulance, we went home, we got out of the ambulance, I looked at the ambulance and it said Red Cross. And I had no idea that they did ambulance services, just community ambulance services. So I think there has to be a really solid education piece around, actually the role that charity is now playing in our society. And actually kind of it has gone – I think kind of person on the street would be shocked about – how far that has gone. And by the way, actually kind of that's not a bad thing, but actually kind of what we need to have is the systems and processes to make sure that people are being paid, and contracts work properly, and also there is a diversity of where those contracts are happening.

Kate Markey

There is a real challenge around scale. Around it being easier to commission at scale, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're meeting the people most in need.

Lyn Tomlinson

I have a bit of a bug-bear about some services being delivered by private companies; for example companies that are delivering food that's so terrible that prisoners go on hunger strike rather than eat it when you've got alternative solutions. So there's a wonderful organisation that Bridges invested in called Impact Food Groups, which is just delivering much healthier, better quality food. But because there's that balance between investor and returns, the government's getting better social value. And so I wonder if there's something in procurement that we could see come through.

Kate Markey

I mean, I think there is real... So, listen, when 2010, the Social Value Act came into force, I was alongside lots of other amazing people who were really leading on it, but a massive push to really get that act through Parliament. And I remember the day that it happened and what it did, really importantly, was put the social sector on a level playing field with the private sector on who creates social value. I think we are now at a point where that legislation needs to go further, much further. And also local authorities and central government really need to be held to account for their own commissioning procurement practises, and also should be reporting much. More and actually kind of where the social value is at point of procurement to outcomes and actually going to potentially kind of look at financial motivation around those social value mechanisms and those metrics.

[Additional insight from Lyn]

I'm a huge believer in the power of the social sector to deliver public services with greater impact on the people we are trying to help whilst delivering better value for government. So I was really excited to hear from Kate that there is some innovation in local and national government in terms of working with smaller charities and local communities to co-create and commission public services. Importantly, we are also seeing innovation in the financial sector too, such as payments by results, also known as social outcomes contracts, which have the potential to deliver significant savings for government whilst delivering better outcomes for people. And Big Society Capital recently highlighted in their 'Outcomes For All' report that since 2011, 139,000,000 of government commissioned outcomes contracts have saved the government 1.4 billion of fiscal, social or economic value, of which 397,000,000 are direct savings to or costs avoided by the public sector. And it's quite clear that the prize for getting this right is massive if we can get the commissioning of public services to flow at greater scale through the social sector. And whilst the is some innovation out there, there is definitely room to grow this further.

For example, in social and healthcare, only 24% of the total value of contracts awarded between April 2016 and March 2020 went to VCSEs. That's Voluntary Community and Social Enterprises. Yet third sector providers of social care are rated more highly than their fore profit counterparts for quality of care. And there's a great piece by Nicole Sykes of the brilliant pro-bono-economics which I've linked to in the podcast and that provides much more detail for those wishing to understand the interaction of the state and the social sector. So the question for me, I think is what role can philanthropy play here? Well, as we heard from Kate, one of the barriers to being awarded a contract to deliver for charities is their size.

Lyn Tomlinson

Contracts are generally awarded to the largest charities and therefore there is a really significant role that can be played by philanthropists in terms of getting smaller charities, what we call 'fit-for-funding'. By providing them with secure long term unrestricted funding, philanthropists who are prepared to take a little bit of risk can enable smaller innovative organisations to scale and be awarded larger grants by other funders. And this can create a virtuous circle whereby smaller organisations that are delivering really effective interventions can become large enough to be awarded contracts to deliver public services. And there's a really great example of this in practise in our episode two of this podcast with Mary Rose Gunn of the Fore. Give that a listen if you'd like to understand this area in more detail.

Lyn Tomlinson

So I called this podcast 'Practical Philanthropy' for a reason, which is I'm external to the sector. So when I look in, sometimes I think, 'oh gosh, that's very complicated and I'm not sure I understand that', and I'm a bit more confused than when I started. And I think for me, that's a barrier to giving. So hence the title.

Lyn Tomlinson

So what we tend to do towards the end of these brilliant podcasts with wonderful people is ask them to just think about some practical guidance that people could take away. How do people get in touch with their local community foundations? What questions should they be asking them and what should they expect from them?

Kate Markey

So you can go to www.UKCommunityFoundations.org and you will see a list of all the community foundations on there and it's LondonCF.org.uk for the London one. There's some really great examples on their website of the types of organisations they're supporting and how they can engage with you and the different funds that they manage. I would really recommend going to a community foundation and asking, can you attend one of their events? Because actually that will give you the opportunity to meet potential peers, because I think that's a really important part of your kind of philanthropic journey. We all need to see that there are people who might be like us, doing what we think we might want to do. And actually, that's just human nature. The local community foundations will be experts in their areas, they'll have a really good understanding of what charities need in those areas. But be really proactive about asking about what is needed. If you've got an interest in a particular area, read up about a particular need, read up about that need. But really importantly, then go and ask the community foundation in your area what that need and how it plays out in that area, because you might find actually kind of it's either ridiculously well funded already, it doesn't actually happen there.

Kate Markey

I can't quite think of an example where that might not, but actually you get the point. It's really important that, if you're new to your philanthropy journey, ask those questions. I would also think some of these issues are really complex, actually.  I said before that being poor and being disadvantaged and being marginalised is a complex, time consuming, really stressful position to be in. And actually, if there were solutions to it, we would have all done it already and we would have gone home by now. But that isn't the case. I would also ask, who else are they working with in terms of other donors. I think it's really important for you to know where your money is sitting alongside. And then I would also say 'just start'.

Lyn Tomlinson

Yeah, get going.

Kate Markey

And then also what you do now is going to be different in three years time, because your confidence is going to grow as a donor and your experience and what that feels like to give money. And as we talked about previously, be respectful, proportionate and considerate and think about what does long-term impact look like beyond the lifetime of your grant or your fund, and how you can really think about organisational resilience of what you're supporting alongside the need you're trying to address. Because if you get the organisation in a great place or an even better place than you found it – because you will absolutely find great organisations – then actually how do you then help that organisation get more funding from other places also?

Lyn Tomlinson

Well, that's fantastic. Well, thank you so much. I've absolutely loved talking to you and your expertise just oozes out of you, so we really appreciate your time. Thank you.

Kate Markey

Thank you so much.

Lyn Tomlinson; Outro

We've talked a lot about scale on this podcast and about small charities in particular, and it's a really challenging word, small, because small can be interpreted as insignificant or unimportant, and that's clearly not the case here. The impact these smaller local charitable organisations are having on our most marginalised communities is anything but small. They are often delivering critical services that the state cannot, or does not provide. But if we look at community foundations as a collective, however, we get a very different lens. These 47 wonderful organisations as a cohort are the UK's fourth largest funder with over 100 years of philanthropy, experience. And community foundations operate not just here in the UK, but in over 1800 communities worldwide, providing vital support for many vulnerable people. And I absolutely love talking to Kate and hearing her insight. I particularly liked her guidance on being proactive with your local community foundation. So pick up the phone, wherever in the world you may be, and ask them how what you care about is playing out in your local community. Whether that's your community now, or if you go back to your roots, you choose. The next episode of Practical Philanthropy is a deep dive into the blue, where I talk to Jasper Smith about saving our oceans.

Until then, you can reach me on lyn.tomlinson@cazenovecapital.com.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.

Authors

Lyn Tomlinson
Head of Impact and Philanthropy

Topics

The value of your investments and the income received from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested.