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Inspiring Local Giving for Local Needs

Inspiring Local Giving For Local Needs

In the UK we’re a generous bunch, with 3 in 4 people having donated to charity. However, in a study carried out by UK Giving*, 70% of respondents agreed that they would feel more inclined to give to charity if they knew how their money was directly helping. Another barrier to giving, is the overwhelming number of causes from which to choose. So, wouldn’t it be great if you could identify local groups or projects that resonate with you and in turn understand how your donation is used? Well we have uncovered a way you can do exactly that…

The Community Foundation for Surrey, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last month, has awarded more than 2,000 grants totalling nearly £6 million to local voluntary groups, community projects, and individuals across Surrey since establishing in 2005.

The independent charitable trust is one of the 48 Community Foundations running throughout the UK and was devised to inspire local giving for local needs. They work with donors, who want to give something back to their local communities and voluntary groups, ultimately providing vital services for local people and disadvantaged individuals.

“This is about local people supporting other local people,” Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of the Community Foundation, says. “The foundation has continued to build year
on year and we have ambitious plans to help even more of Surrey’s communities going forward.”

One of the ways the Community Foundation for Surrey works so successfully is by giving people who donate the opportunity to directly benefit local causes, based on their passions and interests: “In this country alone there are over 180,000 charities to choose from and increasingly people are being inundated with requests to donate,” Ella Gardiner, Marketing and Development Manager for the charitable trust says: “However, to really get the most out of giving, those who choose to donate must give wisely and with consideration. The Community Foundation can assist donors with this by not only identifying causes local to home but also matched to what the individual is most passionate about supporting; whether that is older people, those with disabilities or local sporting projects.”

“By using the Community Foundation you can create a bespoke fund, with opportunity to see the organisations they support making a tangible difference on their doorstep; or collaborate with likeminded people by contributing to one of our existing themed or area funds. Our local knowledge means we can often find wonderful grassroots projects, operating below the radar, where a modest sum of money can make a huge difference.”

Of course, the Community Foundation is the perfect place to turn if your group, grassroots project, or you personally need a grant. Recently, the organisation has been able to donate £10,000 to Age Concern Merstham, Redhill & Reigate’s Men’s Shed project which supports older isolated men to combat loneliness and lack of purpose. Thanks to this funding, they can now open for an extra day per week! Another example is of a grant of £192 being given to a young carer to enable him to travel to college and part time work, around his caring responsibilities.

To apply for a grant (83% of applicants are successful!), speak to the Community Foundation for Surrey and tell them why you require one and what plans you have for it, along with the amount you’d like and complete the online application form, submitting supporting documents too.

Within three months, a decision will be made. If successful, the team ask you to report back on your project.

For more information about the Community Foundation for Surrey, applying for a grant or donating please visit or contact: Ella Gardiner, Marketing and Development Manager on: 01483 478092 or

*Study carried out by UK Giving in May 2014 based on 1,042 respondents

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