In other words, I am donating my birthday to the DCF. I am asking friends, family and supporters of the DCF to donate to the charity rather than buying me cards, drinks, presents, slippers, socks etc.
So why the DCF? Well, I and a few other charity minded people decided to form the charity back in 2000 to serve the people and communities in Dorset by creating a dedicated grant making organisation. Since then it has given out over £12 million in grants.
Rather than bore you with the history of why we formed it, I am listing six reasons why I think the DCF is worth having and supporting. One for each decade of my life:
- The Dorset Community Foundation is totally dedicated to supporting good causes in Dorset through income generation, grant making and practical advice.
- It pools money from a variety of sources and over the past 20 years this has come from the Government, Individuals, Legacies, Grant Making Trusts and companies. Without the DCF much of this money would have gone elsewhere and certainly out of the County.
- Most of the grants it makes are to smaller charities and good causes who do not have their own fundraising capabilities.
- Through its own research the Dorset Community Foundation has highlighted areas of the County who have traditionally struggled to bring in funding for good causes. This includes many from rural areas who exist using volunteers to support their own communities.
- It is not a singe cause grant maker, the DCF has supported causes and individuals as wide ranging as village halls, the disabled, sports clubs, engineering students, youth organisations, people in poverty, the elderly etc. etc. etc. The list is endless!
- All of the above is achieved from one office with 4 staff. I have been involved in charities for over 30 years and in my experience this is unprecedented.
So, to summarise: The Dorset Community Foundation is my charity and it is your charity. I would really appreciate it if you could support this great charity with any amount you can afford and also mark my 6 decades in this County. (Ok, being born in Bournemouth, theoretically I used to be in Hampshire. However, I was at school the day they moved the borders and nobody thought to ask me!)
Gary Bentham (aged 60 on the 18th March 2020)