We are consistently asked to provide a list of local charities that a business owner can support directly.
This is a tough one for Quartet Community Foundation.
On the one hand, our goal is to encourage business to support small and local charities and we know they are incredibly difficult to find. On the other, we want to ensure that any funding is given for a purpose and will make a difference.
We think there are around 3,500 registered charities, voluntary and community organisations in the West of England region. We know of most, but not all.
Each year Quartet provides grants to around 1,000 projects. But we don’t give to every organisation that submits a grant request, we simply don’t have enough funds to support every project. But there is another reason that a grant application might fail.
A recent report stated that only 50% of charities are trusted. This is a harsh statistic, certainly not helped by recent national and international headlines, but there is validity behind the statistic.
Some of the projects do not pass the due diligence process we put every grant applicant through. Those businesses that provide us with donations want to know that the money is to be used for an appropriate purpose that meets the ideals of the business and its employees – in simple terms to give everyone a fair chance of a good life.
We want to ensure that the good cause requesting the grant is properly managed; that salaries are not excessive; that governance including safeguarding is followed and that the needs of the beneficiaries are being met.
With Quartet, every grantee is required to not only collaborate with the due diligence process before funds are provided, but they are also required to deliver an end of grant monitoring report to show how the funds have been spent.
This process is very necessary.
Charities, like businesses, go bust. They under-estimate. They over-spend. They may lack leadership, planning or even a good product or service. Our due diligence process means that it is unlikely we will provide grants to organisations that may falter or fail.
It is also unfortunately true that there are people in our country who see the establishment of a charity or voluntary organisation as a means to obtain funding fraudulently. There are not many but enough for us to take our due diligence process seriously.
We are not alone. There is not a Trust or Foundation in the UK that doesn’t require a level of due diligence to be completed before issuing funding.
Quartet has a reputation for being fair, skilled and knowledgeable and it’s taken 30 years to build it.
So we can’t in good faith simply provide a list of charities for a business to approach, no matter how important it is for the small and local good causes to receive more funding.
If you are interested in supporting small and local good causes get in touch with Alison McDougall to hear about how every pound you raise can be used to give everyone a fair chance of a good life.
Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org 0117 9897713