Community group hires new director for UK expansion

The Community Foundation Network has appointed a new director. Marion Webster is a leading figure in the Australian philanthropy movement and was founding director of the country's first community foundation.

"Community foundations are a well-established concept in the US, but the idea is still in its infancy in the UK," she said. "Our priority for the next five years is to increase public understanding of their work and to spread the word that you don't have to be super-rich to be a philanthropist."

Community foundations are charitable trusts that award grants to local projects. Most of their income is generated from company and individual donations, which is then pooled into a fund.

The foundations also manage ring-fenced funds which reflect the concerns of the donor.

There are 64 community foundations in the UK with a total of £90 million in permanent endowments, making grants worth more than £20 million a year.

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