Press release

Charities to benefit from £110 million boost on Giving Tuesday

Rob Wilson pledges long term funding to thousands of small charities with £110 million pot of money to help the most vulnerable in society.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


A pioneering charity funding scheme that is improving the lives of thousands of people across the UK has now exceeded £110 million, Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson will announce today.

The funding pot, which is expected to grow to over £120 million by March next year, is being invested and the money generated is granted to thousands of small local charities. This form of funding, where the central pot is not touched, enables the fund to keep on giving to causes in the local communities for generations to come.

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson will attend a celebration event today at the London Stock Exchange with donors and businesses to recognise the milestone on #GivingTuesday, the global day of giving. He said:

The Community First Endowment Match Challenge is a clever way of donating to charities. Thanks to this £110 million endowment, hundreds of local charities will benefit from this fund for many years to come.

I’m also pleased to announce today an additional £2 million which is being made available to the Fund. This will encourage a further £4 million from individuals and businesses, enabling the Endowment Match Challenge to grow to £120 million by March next year.

Britain has a long and proud tradition of generosity as a nation and it’s great to see over 700 organisations pledging their support for #GivingTuesday. This day is about people giving back to a worthwhile cause, and I want to personally thank all the individual donors and businesses that have contributed towards making this Fund sustainable, helping to fund hundreds of life-changing projects in local communities.

The fund is the Community First Endowment Match Challenge, a national programme where a central funding pot is grown from individual and corporate donations. So far £70 million has been donated by members of the public and businesses and matched with £40 million from government.

The money that is donated is invested ethically by specialist investment managers CCLA. Returns on the investment are granted to local charities across the country chosen by the original donor, leaving his or her investment in the endowment pot in perpetuity.

The fund was started in 2010 and in the last financial year over £1.7 million has been granted to 762 charities across the country. Now that the fund has grown to over £110 million, it is expected that the number of grants will increase significantly over the next financial year. The money raised each year will continue to grow over the life of the programme to ensure a sustainable source of funding for communities.

David Sheepshanks CBE DL, Chair of UK Community Foundations, said:

We’re delighted with the success of the Community First programme and pleased that community foundations have been able to leverage and deploy this funding for maximum community benefit across the UK.

The local causes that we have been able to support as a result are vital in the fabric of local community life and the people who are instrumental in effecting such significant local impact, are often unsung, unreported and, crucially, underfunded.

The £100 million raised through Community First and held in endowment by community foundations will not only create income to support communities and their most pressing needs now but also provide ongoing funding well beyond the lifetime of any of us involved in the programme. The long term nature of these funds enables a socially responsible approach both toward the needs of today and those of our children, grandchildren and successive generations.

Examples of projects funded include:

  • A grant from the Miss Ruth Ascher Community First Fund was awarded to Readipop, an innovative music and arts charity, to work on programmes with older people including musical workshops, concerts and sing along sessions. Musical groups have performed at community festivals and events
  • The Loveday Family Grassroots Fund awarded £3,000 to Crossroads Care West Kent this winter to not only organise a ‘Santa Special’ train ride for 18 young carers and their families, but also fund 3 Christmas parties – all of which included food, games and the chance to meet Santa and his elves

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, which is leading the #GivingTuesday initiative in the UK, said:

Today is all about shining a light on the fantastic work that charities do and the ways that people up and down the UK choose to give their time, money and support to causes close to their hearts. The Community First Fund shows just how much can be achieved when charities, businesses, government and individuals work together to give back to our communities.


  1. Community Development Foundation (CDF) delivers the Endowment Match Challenge on behalf of the Cabinet Office.
  2. CDF works with UK Community Foundations to raise donations which are then matched by government. For every £1 donated, government invests 50p. Gift Aid is then added to the donation (if the donor is eligible).
  3. All funds in the Community First Endowment Match Challenge are managed by CCLA.
Published 2 December 2014