Community foundations plan for dormant cash

A national project to put money in dormant charitable trust funds to good use in the voluntary and community sector is to be launched next week.

The Boost Initiative is designed to use the expertise of the UK’s 50 community foundations and help trustees of underused funds deliver grants in the most effective way.

The project will be led by the Community Foundation for Merseyside on behalf of the Community Foundation Network. The Merseyside foundation will gather information, introduce trustees to the concept of community foundations and, if necessary, put them in contact with their local foundations.

Jennifer Tanner, development manager at the Community Foundation for Merseyside, said the foundations would try to use the money in the same spirit as originally intended. “Community foundations have such a wealth of experience in managing and delivering charitable funds that it seems logical to use our capacity to help struggling trusts to deliver,” she said.

The initiative will be funded by a three-year grant from the Baring Foundation and a two-year grant from the Lloyds TSB Foundation. Technical support will be provided by the Charity Commission.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, said there were potentially millions of pounds in inactive and dormant trusts that were not meeting their intended purpose. “There are a variety of reasons for this, such as a lack of resources or the changing purposes of charities,” he said. “The Community Foundation Network’s Boost Initiative has the experience and knowledge to help.”

The initiative will be officially launched at the Community Foundation Network’s conference in Liverpool next Wednesday.

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