The Guernsey Community Foundation’s long-running Grants Programme is set to nearly double in size thanks to the generosity of major new donors.
The Leonard Acott Foundation has donated £180,000 to the Programme, enabling the Foundation to award £430,000 a year in grants.
The Leonard Acott Foundation was established in 2021 by the Leonard and Acott families to support the local community throughout the Bailiwick, but they were unsure where to start.
Co-founder Ken Acott said: “Deciding which charities and projects should get help was difficult without extensive background knowledge. We were determined to do something but deciding precisely how to achieve our objectives was a real challenge. We were aware of the great work undertaken by the Foundation and after several meetings we agreed that working with them was the ideal solution.”
Mike Leonard added: “The Foundation is at the heart of the third sector and knows it inside and out. It has its ear to the ground and knows who is looking for funding, and how that funding will make a difference. We certainly anticipate this arrangement becoming a long-term relationship.”
The Foundation’s Grants Programme provides substantial grants to local charities and community projects, where such funding is needed to deliver essential services or meet significant needs.
The Foundation’s Chief Executive, Jim Roberts, said: “For 10 years, funds distributed via the Grants Programme have come from a single annual donation, for which we are very grateful. The new donation from the Leonard Acott Foundation allows us to award larger grants over longer periods, and to assist a wider range of charities. All of this comes at a time when more people than ever are reliant on the work of the third sector.”
Grant applications are considered by a Grants Panel made up of a selection of the Foundation’s directors and a majority of independent members. The Panel’s recommendations are passed to the Foundation’s board for a decision. As a result of the new donation the Panel will now meet bimonthly as opposed to quarterly, and applications will be accepted all year round. Mr Roberts said that even allowing for the contribution from the Leonard Acott Foundation, he expected the Grants Programme to be oversubscribed.
“We’ve seen a surge in applications following covid, with demand showing no sign of abating.” He encouraged other prospective donors to get in touch. “If you want your money to make a difference but aren’t sure where to start, or how best to support the causes that matter to you, we can help.”