Community Endowment Fund

Investing with and for the Barking and Dagenham community

For too long the people who are most affected by funding decisions have been excluded from the decision-making process. In Barking and Dagenham, we’re changing that! 

We are working with a group of local people to decide how a fund of almost £1 million is invested and how the income it generates is spent. Our guiding star is a vision of a more prosperous borough where the people affected by decisions get involved in making them. 

The CSG with BD Giving team, smiling for a photo

A group of local people have been recruited and supported by BD Giving, to learn about the world of social investment from leading experts so they can make decisions about how the Fund is invested and managed. That group is called the Community Steering Group (CSG).

Meet the Community Steering Group

What is the Community Endowment Fund?

Barking and Dagenham’s Community Endowment Fund is a payment from something called the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy, which is paid by developers of new building projects in the borough. The Council transferred some of that money to BD Giving at the end of 2020.

The Endowment has been entrusted to BD Giving because involving local people in making decisions about funding is what we do. 

The Fund is an investment, rather than a grant, so it’s not going to generate immediate returns and the returns will be modest initially. But over the next ten years, the borough will continue to see considerable growth in the form of new developments and infrastructure until development slows down in the 2040s. That sounds like a long time, but it is a relatively short period of time for us to agree the foundations for the Fund and ensure it becomes a new form of community power and shows other places what the future of funding could be.

The potential of the Community Endowment Fund

Over the next ten years, more of the Levy will be transferred into the Community Endowment Fund and we will use the Fund to encourage additional donations and investments to top it up and create a sustainable source of income for the community.

Working with the CSG, we will strike a careful balance between the needs of current generations with those of future generations by ensuring we don’t spend all the surplus. We will agree ambitious ethical guidelines to monitor the investments, and make sure that this Fund is part of the solution for a stronger, more cohesive borough.

At every step we commit to making opportunities visible, to facilitate collaborative decision-making, and to share what we learn and do. Register for our newsletter to stay in the loop.

People walking through Barking market

Late to the party? Read the Community Endowment Fund story so far...

We. Did. It! – We have launched the Community Investment Policy

We took Barking and Dagenham’s Community-Led Investment Policy to Parliament...

Read More22 June 2022

Building trust and sharing responsibility

After the first meeting of the Community Steering Group with...

Read More18 May 2022

The CSG’s story so far

After 4 months, lots of learning, questioning, and more than...

Read More26 April 2022

Ask the Experts

In the fifth workshop, at the request of CSG members,...

Read More19 April 2022

CSG Members ‘Cautiously Empowered’ to Make Decisions on Investment

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More21 March 2022

Community Steering Group Take the Driving Seat of Investment

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More10 February 2022

A Bullseye for Barking & Dagenham

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More21 January 2022

What would you choose, oranges, apples or lemons?

This blog summarises what Barking & Dagenham Giving’s Steering Group...

Read More6 December 2021

Models of Community Investments

During Giving Week 2021, as part of our learning journey...

Read More8 July 2021

Community Endowment Fund – Report

Last month, we held two meetings with the community to...

Read More19 April 2021

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