Last month, we held two meetings with the community to start the conversation about our exciting new endowment fund. As a local charity with a commitment to participation our ambition is to operate the fund according to the core belief that underlines our work, i.e. that the people who are affected by decisions should be making those decisions. As such, we have set ourselves the following goals:
- To involve the community in shaping the fund’s investment policy, i.e. how the money should be invested, and monitor the investments in order to ensure that the fund meets its ambitions and values.
- To ensure that the bulk of income generated by the Community Endowment Fund are made available for people and organisations in the borough, following BD Giving’s participatory processes.
What we heard from the people who attended was a lot of passion to see the Community Endowment Fund delivered in a way which is equitable and accessible – this means we want to take the time we need to give community members the tools and support they need to get to grips with the large sums of money involved.
Our CEO Geraud has already written a brief summary about what we learnt in the meetings and we’ve spent the last few weeks going through the transcripts of the meeting to prepare a full report.
The report lays out the background to the fund, why we held the meetings, and explains what we think the fund’s design journey needs to look like. It’s been written by BD Giving but includes important contributions from participants based on the input we had from the community at those meetings. The key findings of the report are:
- A need to raise awareness in the community about the endowment fund, and to communicate clearly about how the various elements of the fund fit together
- A need to produce accessible information and to support people in the community to take part in the process
- A strong interest for participants to look at how the fund could have a local impact, e.g. exploring what a local investment vehicle could look like
- A recognition that if this fund is going to make a difference locally, we need to really think through how we are collectively going to monitor and evaluate impact.
We’re excited to share our findings with you in this report:
If you’ve got any questions or comments about it, be sure to let us know.