Setting up a charitable trust?

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Thinking of setting up a charitable foundation for your business?

If you’re a proactive modern business with a heart, chances are you’ve wondered whether you could set up a foundation or charitable trust to “give back” to society.  But what are the options and are there pitfalls to avoid?

Scientists have proved that charitable giving is good for you and even makes your brain light up. Google it…the results are fascinating.  We see it all the time as we work with  people who combine philanthropy with their daily lives and they enjoy the genuine warm glow that comes from planned giving.

Before you head off to the nearest MRI scanner, we want to highlight your options.

We know that many of your employees – particularly the younger ones – will expect your business to be “putting back” into society so the structured approach that having a company foundation gives can be an excellent way to channel your company giving to the causes that fit with your business purpose and values.  It can also be a significant tool in recruiting and retaining people, giving you a competitive edge with millennials.

Running a charitable trust is rewarding but it will also involve time and effort. A lot of time and effort. It requires a full board of trustees and, possibly, one or more employees who will spend time finding the charities and good causes you want to support, undertaking due diligence, producing accounts and Charity Commission returns as well as monitoring and reporting back on the grants your foundation makes

With 10 million charities in the world, 167,000 in the UK and more than 3,500 charities in our local areas, that’s a lot of charities to find, review and consider. A lot of work.

But there are other options.

A named fund with Quartet Community Foundation is a popular option, giving you the reach and profile of having your own foundation but without all the administrative hassle

Operating throughout Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset we are one of 46 UK community foundations. We help individuals and business establish named funds through which we distribute grants to local charities and good causes in line with the fund holders wishes.

Thirty years on from our start, we are trusted to look after over £27m in funds and we  deliver close to £3m in grants each year  to almost 1,000 projects helping disadvantaged people in our region, our cities, our neighbourhoods.

Through the network of community foundations we work with businesses that want to reach across the UK too.

To trust or not…?

Being aware of the options is always a good move.

To help you, we have created a simple table (see the link below) that shows the differences between setting up your own charitable foundation or establishing a fund with Quartet.

You will probably have more questions than this document shows. If you fancy a chat, we can probably answer most of them. Our 30 years providing this service in our community has provided us with a fair bit of knowledge and we are very happy to share that with you. No commitment needed.

If setting up a named fund is not quite right for your business at the moment, but you are interested in giving locally then please read our thoughts on A Different Way

If you need more information, get in touch with Sue Turner, CEO or Ronnie Brown, Philanthropy Director