Phi Newsletter: August 2013

Welcome to the August 2013 issue of the Factary Phi Newsletter.

Major Giving News

LRF funds Aberdovey lifesaver

The Lloyds Register Foundation has donated £1m to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in support of its Sea Survival training course.

David Fowles, a 27 year old from Aberdyfi, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset to complete the charity’s Trainee Crew Course.

He commented: ‘[It] was a great learning experience for me, dealing with scenarios such as towing, sea survival and boat handling – skills I can bring to use in Aberdovey out on the water.’

One of the course’s key elements is training recruits in sea survival techniques, including how to effectively ‘abandon ship’, coping in simulated darkness and dealing with fires on-board lifeboats in emergencies.

The donation will go towards funding the course over a five year period, and training will take place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole. The facility, which includes a wave tank and a fire-fighting simulator, allows trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea as a lifeboat crew.

Aberdyfi RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dave Williams said:

‘The support given by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI. We are extremely grateful that it has chosen to fund sea survival training, which teaches vital core skills to our volunteer crew.’

‘This training is central to allowing the RNLI and its volunteers to stay safe while on rescue missions. It equips volunteers with essential sea survival skills; providing them with the courage, poise and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.’

Bluebirds to make yearly £1m donation

Owner of Cardiff City Football Club Vincent Tan has announced his new charity campaign that will see the club donate £1m to a number of local causes in Cardiff every year.

The aptly named ‘Thanks a Million’ campaign will see City hand over the six-figure sum every year for as long as Tan remains its major shareholder and the club stays in the Premier League.

Roughly 50 local charities are to be selected as beneficiaries by the club’s staff, management and players, and representatives from each have all been invited to the club for an official reception. Guests will also be invited to meet City Chairman Mehmet Dalman, Manager Malky Mackay and also the team’s senior squad amongst others.

‘I firmly believe that Cardiff City’s promotion to the Premier League after a long 51 year wait to play at the top level is a blessing,’ Tan said.

‘And, with the grace of God we want to use this blessing positively to support the charitable organisations and disadvantaged members of the South Wales community, in particular in Cardiff and the valleys where most of our supporters are based.’

‘Our promotion to the best league in the world is by no means the result of one person, but the collective hardworking efforts of many good people – namely management, coaches, staff, players and most importantly the fans of this great club.’

‘Together we can look forward to the challenge and excitement of the season ahead, and for every year we remain in the Premier League and I remain the majority and controlling shareholder, everyone at the club will be honoured to share our Premier League rewards with those in need in our communities.’

Soldiers charity set to recieve Rowling royalties

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity expects to receive a significant sum after Harry Potter author JK Rowling has won a legal action against the law firm representing her.

Her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, was revealed to the public by a representative of the firm and as a result, the author said she would be donating all global royalties from her first crime novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, to the charity.

Since her identity was revealed on the 14th of July, the book has predictably shot up the bestsellers list and as a result of this, the charity is set to receive a six-figure sum in damages and ‘quite a lot more’ in the form of royalties that will all be donated for the next three years.

Russells Solicitors, the law firm responsible for the leak of her name, apologised and agreed to pay the author’s legal fees and make a payment by way of damages to the charity after Rowling brought a legal action, which concluded on the 31st of July.

A spokesman for the charity, which supports soldiers, former soldiers and their families through financial grants to individuals and specialist charities that support the armed forces, said it had not been told how much the damages were worth. However:

‘Suffice to say, the royalties are not going to be insignificant – given her track record, they will be fairly hefty,” the spokesman said. “I would probably say six figures for the damages and quite a lot more for the royalties.’

In a statement published on the charity’s website, Rowling said: ‘This donation is being made to the Soldiers’ Charity partly as a thank-you to the army people who helped me with research, but also because writing a hero who is a veteran has given me an even greater appreciation and understanding of exactly how much this charity does for ex-servicemen and their families, and how much that support is needed.’

Chief Executive of the charity, Major General Martin Rutledge, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled by the extraordinary generosity of JK Rowling. This donation will make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of soldiers, former soldiers and their families who are in real need.’

‘Her tremendous show of support for the charity will help to remind people of the many sacrifices made by our soldiers, long after any news of Afghanistan has left the front pages.’

Next section: Report

Report: Turning a Corner: Transition in the Voluntary Sector

For this month’s edition of our report section, we have included a summary of a recent report on adapting to change in the voluntary sector and some of the challenges that this creates.

The report is entitled Turning a Corner: Transition in the Voluntary Sector; we will be including our summary of several chapters on the effects of austerity, what factors appear to help voluntary organisations adapt, and some thoughts about the challenges and options facing trusts and foundations when they engage with voluntary organisations.

Initiated by IVAR (The Institute for Voluntary Action Research) and written by Eliza Buckley, Ben Cairns and Richard Jenkins, its contents are based on an analysis by IVAR staff and associates of 25 projects (one year of research) carried out between 2012 and 2013.

The research was funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

Understanding the operating environment

The report begins by identifying some of the leading challenges that voluntary organisations are currently facing. Aside from the effects of austerity, the report highlights that the environment in which non-profit organisations are operating has been continuously shifting as society at large tries to adapt to ever-changing economic circumstances. Many organisations have faced a number of challenges which are far too complex to be solved simply by an increase in funding – for example, many have had to adapt their work due to changes in service thresholds and welfare provision, or as a result of other organisations in their area closing. In short, external pressures and challenges are having a continual impact on how organisations operate, forcing them to constantly be ‘in transition’.

The idea that voluntary organisations must continually adapt, the report points out, is nothing new. However, the point is made that now more than ever, economic uncertainty and social upheaval have exerted two unique kinds of pressure of organisations. Firstly they are experiencing pressure to define who they are and why they exist, which, in a continuously changing environment, is very difficult to do. Secondly, they also have to redefine and renew their relationships with key interest groups, collaborators and competitors to ensure they remain supported, relevant and ahead of the game. Again, with ever-changing parameters, this is also difficult to achieve and maintain.

The risk of paralysis

In light of these new challenges, new processes and expectations from funders and service commissioners have also had to be introduced, with a focus on ‘impact’ and the promotion of social finance considered paramount for many voluntary organisations.

In response, it has been observed that many leaders have begun to feel greatly pressured by the need to act simultaneously as managers of operations and staff, interpreters of new funding rules, and policy advocates on behalf of their beneficiaries and service users.

Perhaps understandably in these circumstances, people at times felt defeated or paralysed when attempting to consider or fully plan for the future. The report draws on experiences of strategic planning with organisations to state that, whilst planning is undeniably important in the current climate, alongside this there is a need for opportunity, creativity and improvisation.

The need to work with others

Collaboration with other organisations is considered important to meet the challenges ahead, although without a shared vision and closely aligned objectives, many voluntary organisations can struggle to work effectively together. However, previous research has shown that by attempting to answer this question of whether or not to collaborate (even if the answer is ‘no’) many voluntary organisations may be left with a much clearer idea about their own mission and values.

The importance of institutional memory and awareness of mortality

Perhaps as a reflection of the current economic environment, an unfortunate trend among many voluntary organisations is to reduce their number of paid posts available, which in turn creates even more uncertainty.

Based on the research, it is argued in the report that those organisation who have previously experienced this feeling of uncertainty in the past may perhaps be better equipped to deal with uncertainty than those that may have started, or grew significantly, in a period of more plentiful government support.

This in turn creates a much more robust attitude to change and a greater sense of self-sufficiency when negotiating harsher times. However equally it is also noted that some organisations may need to consider the option of closure if their aims are no longer appropriate or feasible. Indeed for some accepting closure as an option was considered to be quite liberating, and facilitated a refocus on beneficiaries, as: ‘In essence, these organisations live every day like it’s their last.’

What helps voluntary organisations to thrive?

Successful organisations were all found to share one common defining feature – the ability to adapt to changes in circumstances and renew their mission in a changed environment. Organisations that were comfortable with reflection and regular review saw this as a useful attitude to managing change.

Furthermore, those who seemed to understand their mission best were also firmly rooted – with a clear sense of their role and how they fit into the greater scheme of things. Those organisations that did not share a suitable view of the adaptations and alliances necessary were considered to be far less likely to prosper.

Tailored support and flexible funding

Flexible, tailored support with a so-called ‘critical friend’ was judged to be essential in providing a proper space in which to explore all the options available to organisations that are experiencing long term difficulties. Long-term support from a critical friend provides ‘a sounding board’ from someone who ‘knows you throughout your journey’.

Given the ever present need to adapt to new challenges and circumstances, overly prescriptive funding agreements were sometimes judged to be counterproductive for voluntary organisations in responding to the needs of their beneficiaries. To this end, the greater degree of freedom provided by unrestricted and flexible funding was favoured over more restrictive agreements.

Funders

As shown above, the report highlights the challenges and difficulties facing voluntary organisations at this time. It then moves on to highlight how trusts and foundations can assist organisations in meeting these new and continuously changing challenges.

Strategic funding and its limitations

The report highlights that, due to pressures from inside and outside the funding community, there has also been a growing demand for trusts and foundations to demonstrate their ‘impact’. One response to this has been for funders to strategically fund special designing programmes from the outset with a clear ‘impact’ or measurable outcome in mind.

Unfortunately however, due to constant changes in circumstances, what might look like a sensible ‘impact’ at one stage may quite soon no longer be the case. For smaller organisations, difference and value may be more appropriately assessed in terms of outputs and outcomes, rather than the scale and coverage implied by ‘impact’.

According to the research, investment in voluntary organisations certainly appears to be more likely to succeed when it takes full account of all the knowledge, resources and insight available from those who are closest to the organisation’s beneficiaries. Although not every grant can be assessed on such a rigorous basis with visits and face-to-face meetings, a minimum understanding of needs and context is certainly needed in order to promote a mutually beneficial experience for all parties involved.

The importance of mutually supportive working relationships

For charitable trusts and foundations funding voluntary organisations, the importance of forming mutually supportive working alliances, alongside building evidence of positive solutions to problems is also highlighted as extremely important.

Furthermore, a relationship between funders and voluntary organisations as relational rather than contractual is also considered to be extremely important. Using this approach, appropriate value is placed on the contribution each partner brings, and, when there is space to foster openness and develop trust, there is also space for both organisations to better realise their goals and ultimately become more successful.

Click here for a full version of the report.

Next section: Phi Database Update

Phi in Numbers August 2013

During the course of this month we have uploaded 6,754 new records of donations onto the Factary Phi database, representing a minimum of £16.8m in funding.

The data in the latest upload has been taken from a number of different UK charities and foundations, including Family Action, Centrepoint Soho, the Terrance Higgins Trust, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, and more.

From the records included in the latest upload, we have found that donations made to both the Development/Housing/Unemployment and Children/Youth related sectors are particularly well-represented in terms of value.

Combined, the number of donations made to these two activity types is just 560 donations (8.2% of the upload). However in terms of value, 455 donations to Development/Housing/ Unemployment are worth a minimum of £9,766,000 and 105 donations made to Children/Youth are worth a minimum of £3,753,049 (representing 80% of the entire upload in terms of value).

In light of this, we have decided to take a closer look at donations to Children/Youth and Development/Housing/Unemployment in both the latest upload and in Phi as a whole. Below, we have included two charts showing how donations from various donors to these activity types are ranked in terms of value across the entire database.

split-donations_to_devt-donations_to_children

As is shown by the charts above, the majority of donations to both causes have been made by Individuals, followed by Trusts/Foundations, Other Grantmaking Bodies and finally Companies. Below, we have also included a comparative breakdown of donations to these sectors as they appear in the latest upload.

split-donations_to_devt-donations_to_children-latest_upload

In contrast, the value of donations made by Individual Donors is drastically reduced in this month’s upload, with the majority coming instead from Other Grantmaking Bodies and Trusts/Foundations respectively.

As a result of this, donations to both activity types appear much more balanced in this month’s upload, and it is interesting to note that some significantly higher donations from alternative sources (Trusts/Foundations, Other Grantmaking Bodies and Companies) also account for such a large portion of the this month’s upload across all activity types.

Next section: Profile

Profile: The Eranda Foundation

The Eranda Foundation was founded in 1967 by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild with the intention of supporting charitable causes associated with medical research, education, the arts and social welfare.

A member of the famed Rothschild banking family, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild retired from his position as head of N M Rothschild & Sons in 2003. Following on from this, both English and French banking firms owned by the family merged to form Group Rothschild, under the leadership of David René de Rothschild.

The family have a long history of merchant banking and finance stretching back as far as the late 18th Century. During the early part of the 19th century, for example, the Rothschild’s London bank played an important role in managing the British-allied subsidies that in effect financed the Napoleonic Wars. During this period, the family also provided a number of other innovative and complex financing solutions for various government projects which would in effect form the backbone of the their business for the better part of the 19th century.

Towards the end of this period, the family also acquired interests in the Spanish government’s Rio-Tinto copper mines and invested in the De Beers diamond mines in South Africa, eventually becoming De Beers’ largest shareholders.

Sir Evelyn’s uncle, Lionel Nathan De Rothschild, and his father, Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, then jointly managed the family’s London banking house through the early part of the 20th century before its management eventually passed to Sir Evelyn, who became Chairman in 1976.

Today, his foundation supports a wide variety of charitable causes and reportedly distributes £4m to £5m per annum to charities both in the UK and abroad.

For the financial year ending 5th April 2012, the trust reported an income of £3,930,069 and an expenditure of £4,783,853. Factary Phi holds 87 records of donations made from 2005 to 2012 representing a minimum of £440,000.

From these, the highest single donation of £242,000 was made to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. In terms of average grant sizes across sectors, the largest are typically made to causes associated with Health (£70,500), followed by Education (£27,563) and Arts/Culture (£6,000).

According to Phi, the largest number of donations have been made to Arts/Culture related causes (40), followed by Health (15), Education/Training (9), Children/Youth (5), Heritage (5), Environment (2), Development (2), Rights/Law/Conflict (2), Sport (2), Welfare, Disability, International Development and Animals (1).

The Trustees

Lady De Rothschild

Lady De Rothschild is Chief Executive Officer of E. L. Rothschild, a holding company which is jointly owned by her and her husband. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Estée Lauder, The Economist Group, Weather Central LLC and Christies International. Prior to this, she served on the Boards of Directors of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and also owned and operated a number of telecommunication companies specialising in broadband and wireless services. In 1998, she founded FirstMark Communications of Europe, a telecommunications company that was eventually sold in 2000 in a $1bn financing, making it the largest private equity placement in the history of the European sector.

Sir Evelyn De Rothschild

Sir Evelyn De Rothschild is a Financier who took up his position as Chairman of the family’s merchant banking group in 1982 and also became a Chairman of Rothschild Bank A.G. Zurich from 1994 until 2003. During his time as Chairman he oversaw the merger of the family’s French and UK houses, and he also continued as Non-Executive Chairman of N M Rothschild & Sons after David René de Rothschild of the French branch took over as Executive Chairman of Rothschild International. He was knighted by the Queen in 1989 for services to banking and finance. He is also currently a Trustee of The Atlantic Education Project and a Vice-President of the Snowdon Trust.

Jessica De Rothschild

Jessica De Rothschild is the daughter of Sir Evelyn. She is married to journalist and screenwriter Sacha Gervasi.

Anthony De Rothschild

Anthony De Rothschild is the eldest son of Sir Evelyn. He is Co-managing Director of Brighton-based A7 music.

Sir John Wilfred Peace

Sir John Wilfred Peace is Chairman of Standard Chartered plc, the Burberry Group plc and Experian plc. Prior to this he became Group CEO of GUS plc, of which both Experian and Burberry are a part, and in 1980 he helped found CNN Systems, a pioneer of early credit-scoring technology. As well as this, he was Chairman of the Board of Governors of Nottingham Trent University and is currently a Trustee of the Djanogly City Academy.

Sir Graham Hearne

Sir Graham Hearne is a businessman who served as Chairman of Enterprise Oil from 1991 to 2002. Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tricentrol plc and Carless, Capel & Leonard plc.

Next section: News

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