Celebrating St David’s Day with the Community Foundation in Wales

In celebration of St David’s Day, we welcome Liza Kellett from the Community Foundation in Wales as our guest blogger.

1st March 2016

In celebration of St David’s Day, we’re delighted to have Liza Kellett from the Community Foundation in Wales as our first guest blogger, reflecting on our on-going partnership to encourage philanthropy and strengthen communities in Wales, and beyond.

St David’s Day in Wales is a big deal, and as the community foundation which has the privilege and challenge of representing a whole nation, we take it very seriously too.  This year, as the finale of our Pears Giving Circle programme, we are going virtual and global: we’re launching Wales’s first ever world-wide giving circle for communities (well that’s what we’re calling it!).

Our Global Giving Circle is the culmination of our pilot giving circle programme: an exploratory piece of work over two years funded by Pears Foundation.  Pears Foundation invested in both the core costs of piloting this unique (for Wales) vehicle to encourage a greater understanding of local needs and opportunities for giving, and also invested in a match funding incentive.  We consulted with our allies, including The Funding Network, Dr Beth Breeze and Dr Angela Eikenberry to research different models, and the funding from Pears enabled us to try out new ways to get people giving in Wales and to raise the profile of our work more broadly.

Of the 9 Giving Circles we’ve run so far, 31 charitable projects have been featured which have attracted donations of £78,780 on top of the £50,000 Pears Foundation match.  419 individuals, businesses and Trusts have made gifts ranging from £5 to £5,000, and of the 650 people who came to one of the Giving Circle evenings, 425 were new to the Community Foundation in Wales.

It’s important to us, as it is to Pears Foundation, that we are reflective and analytical about our work, and this pilot project in particular.  We measured a number of quantitative outputs and also captured some unexpected soft outcomes, and we know for sure that this investment has succeeded in delivering what we aimed for – and more!  We’re committed to sharing our learning – warts and all – with other community foundations and charities, and we’ll be adding news and insights on our website over the coming months.  We would encourage anyone with an interest in this work to get in touch.

So for us, St David’s Day 2016 is all about building on the successes and learning of the past two years, and moving towards the creation of a global community of donors.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!