What is the foundation?
The foundation is the charitable arm of the Nationwide Building Society. It was established in 1997 and receives 0.25 per cent of the building society’s profits, averaged over three years.
What did it do?
In 2009, it created the strategy Money Matters, Homes Matter, Families Matter, which ran until last year. Under the strategy, grants were given to charities that help people affected by financial exclusion, financial abuse, housing problems and debt. The grants have supported vulnerable older people and survivors of domestic abuse. A total of £2.8m was distributed between 2010 and 2013. The funding was awarded to nine charities through its Investment Programme – each received about £300,000. Financial advice and support was provided to 6,000 older people and survivors of domestic abuse, and housing advice to 1,200 people.
One of the beneficiaries was Money Advice Plus Services, which works with Women’s Aid to operate a telephone-based money advice service for survivors of domestic abuse.
Why did it win?
As a result of the foundation’s support and financial help, all nine charities are still operating today and six have secured ongoing funding for the same projects. The foundation estimates its funding has helped to improve beneficiaries’ finances collectively by £3m, helping them to gain social security benefits and grants, and to reduce their debt.
What did the judges say?
Catherine Walker, head of sector trends, evidence, analysis and metric at the Directory of Social Change, said: "Nationwide has shown great initiative. It’s targeting less popular and under-funded beneficiaries, which is exactly the kind of intelligent, research-led decision I expect from a forward-thinking corporate foundation."
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