Community Development Foundation to close next year

The community empowerment charity which started nearly 50 years ago is looking to transfer its assets to another organisation

Some staff will stay until April 2016
Some staff will stay until April 2016

The community empowerment charity Community Development Foundation will close next April, it has said.

CDF was a non-departmental public body from 1967 until 2011, and started life as the Young Volunteer Force Foundation with the aim of recruiting disaffected young people into community service schemes.

CDF’s work includes delivering community engagement programmes that mobilise communities, carrying out research to influence policy and helping communities to receive support.

CDF chief executive Alison Seabrooke said the charity, which employs 16 staff, five of whom are part-time and eight on who are on temporary contracts, will fulfil its contractual obligations until March 2016 while some staff will stay on until the end of April 2016 to "deliver a well-managed closure".

The charity said that while it could continue trading until 2018, the trustees and senior management team had decided unanimously that it would be best to transfer its assets to another organisation, although no organisation has yet been identified to take over its assets or work. The assets include the reserves, intellectual property and, possibly, programmes and products.

According to the Charity Commission’s website, CDF income has fallen from more than £3.7m in the year to 31 March 2012 to £917,535 in the year to 31 March 2015, while expenditure has been significantly higher than income in recent years and exceeded £1.7m in the year to 31 March 2015. As of 31 March 2015, CDF’s designated reserves were more than £1.48m, as well as unrestricted funds of £186,602.

Seabrooke told Third Sector: "The operating environment has changed radically and we are convinced we must act now from a position of strength.

"We don’t want to be in a position where the organisation runs itself down and the end result is the same."

She said the closure had been under discussion since September and that the organisation or organisations receiving its assets will need to continue CDF’s nearly 50-year legacy. Most of CDF’s existing contracts end in March, along with temporary staff contracts.

Andrew Robinson, chair of CDF, said: "Many may well be shocked by this decision, but good stewardship demands that we consider the interests future beneficiaries, not just past and present."

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