Across the North West of England, Community Foundations are working to improve the lives of people in their communities – and the inaugural North West Family Business Awards will be bringing these organisations together for the first time tomorrow (Friday 6 March) to celebrate and raise awareness of their work.
Representatives of Cumbria, Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire’s Community Foundations will be attending the Family Business Awards ceremony which will highlight how companies and individuals can get involved to support their communities.
Community Foundations are shaped by a strong belief that it is only by local people working together, making the most of their skills and assets and encouraging local philanthropy that help communities thrive. Philanthropy supports community foundations to deliver hundreds of projects that bring people from all backgrounds together in communities to find ways to make life better.
The first community foundation was established in Cleveland, America in 1914 by a banker and lawyer, Frederick H. Goff, who aimed to pool charitable resources in his county for the: “mental, moral, and physical improvement of the inhabitants of Cleveland.”
And this philosophy is at the heart of the Community Foundations in the North West – bringing together those who want to improve the lives of people living in their county.
Chief Executive of Cheshire Community Foundation, Zoe Sheppard said: “Giving back to our local communities brings both joy and reward.
“It is our mission to ensure that the money we receive from our donors is directed towards making the biggest difference to people’s lives.
“We aim to make the people of Cheshire and Warrington sit up and take notice of what is happening right on their doorstep. We connect the people who want to give back with the most effective grassroots charities and not-for-profit organisations, directly helping those most in need, whilst enabling our donors to feel proud that they’ve made a real difference.”
The work of the foundations is helping to grow stronger communities together.
Chief Executive of Lancashire and Merseyside Community Foundations, Rae Brooke said: “We help individuals, families, companies, charitable trusts, public sector bodies and organisations such as Comic Relief, and the Big Lottery Fund. We enable them to connect, support and invest in our communities, through charitable giving.
“We provide sound management, due diligence and administrative support services to make charitable giving easy, tax-efficient and robust.
“Our ultimate vision is to drive as much investment as we can into the voluntary and community sector to enrich the lives of people and grow stronger communities together.”
Community Foundations provide the structure and support to help businesses make a real difference in their communities.
Cumbria Community Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, connecting people who care with causes that matter in the county. Chief Executive Andy Beeforth said: “We offer a practical alternative, making charitable giving to local causes stress-free, easy and enjoyable for clients, whether the amounts they set aside are large or relatively modest.
“Your values are at the core of your business and you look after your employees and customers well, but there are other ways in which you can improve your corporate social responsibility to benefit the whole community.”
Founder and Co-Director of the North West Family Business Award, Sue Howorth and also a Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation said: “We feel it is important to give back to our communities. “With so many family businesses coming together for our inaugural North West Awards, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of how your family business can get involved with their local community foundation.
“We are delighted to be able to bring together the Community Foundations from across the North West for this special evening.”
Co-Director of the North West Family Business Awards, Dave Clarkson added: “Family businesses, by their nature, have strong roots in their communities. Community Foundations offer an opportunity for owners to use their skills and connections to help change the lives of local people for the better.”
You can watch a short film about the work of our community foundations and the role businesses play within this here
For more information about the North West Family Business Awards and 2020 finalists visit: www.northwestfamilybusinessawards.co.uk