Now that I am in the sixth month of my Chairmanship I think we can formerly dispense with the word ‘new’. Becoming Chairman on the 1st January this year and not having experience any form of engagement before with the DCF I can honestly say that each day brings with it pride and excitement of being part of this, well let’s call it a well-oiled charitable Dorset organisation.
We recently announced our major milestone of having given £10 million pounds to numerous charities, community groups and organisations operating in Dorset. There are four main revenue streams that provide our funding – and we need your help to raise funds in order to support local issues.
Setting up a Fund or Leaving a Legacy
Firstly, and most importantly we have individual people in Dorset who are able to give funds because they care for our great and beautiful county and want to help those less fortunate and in need. They may ask us to set up a lifetime endowment fund and in doing so they can express their wishes where the funds can be directed and they can then add later to the fund by arranging for a legacy to be put in place. We are in the process of arranging some legacy endowments funds to which family and friends will also be able to top up at a later date. This is an eminent way for someone to be remembered as the fund will carry the name of the donor, be very visual and will continue to produce funds in perpetuity for those most in need in Dorset. This is indeed a prudent and judicious journey for any donor to take and in doing so the donor will be helping the DCF to help the many charities, community groups and organisations in Dorset that we reach. Also, worthy of note is that the community foundations in the UK, there are 48 who handle over £500 million pounds worth of investments, have been approached by individuals for advice on tax mitigation and the advantages of funding an endowment to help them deal with their or their families’ estate.
Secondly, another important revenue stream is way the DCF works with professional advisors, who may be solicitors, accountants or investment managers, The DCF can been regarded as the professional and passionate voice of philanthropy in Dorset. We are increasingly being approached by these professions, who may be acting on behalf of their clients, to see how we operate and to work with us in arranging a lifetime or legacy endowment. Again as mentioned before, tax mitigation forms a major part of our discussions with these professional advisors.
Established Charitable Trusts
Thirdly, we have the expertise, local knowledge and long history of turning dormant or redundant charitable trusts into practical funding vehicles for the benefit of Dorset residents. The Charity Commission allows us to change the area of benefit and to modernise the original trust charitable objectives – making trusts established long time ago fit for current and future community needs. At present, the Charity Commission is looking into dormant and inappropriately managed trusts and they are sign posting anyone who wants to set up a charity to the UK Community Foundations. In Dorset we are well placed to help individuals set up a fund without them having to go through the complex Charity Commission registration of setting up a charity and the ongoing management of it thereafter.
Corporate Champions Initiative
Fourthly, and the last source of funding I will mention, is the generous way the corporate world helps the many charitable causes in the UK. There are many corporate social responsibility programmes in operation and with that in mind we have just started, in Dorset, a Corporate Champions initiative. Any Dorset based or nationwide company operating in Dorset can become a Corporate Champion and they will be able to utilise the expertise and turnkey operational abilities that we have in our trust making toolkit.
We certainly operate differently to other charitable organisations and are very professional in securing our funding. We do not do any form of mailing, computer or postal. We do not telephone cold call anyone. We do not buy or sell lists of names. We do not advertise. What we rely on is the good will of Dorset residents and our family of Ambassadors and Professional Advisors to recommend our essential charitable services to family, friends, trustees and directors of companies. Our reputation is slowly and surely becoming that of an unfettered philanthropic organisation that people can trust to organise their estate or lifetime charitable donating initiatives.
If you would like to find out more about how you can help please contact us. Our unique and forward thinking endowment investment methodology ensures we help people now and in future generations.