Challenging but rewarding times ahead?

Written by Phil Ewing – Chairman

This morning it dawned – the realisation that I was now the Chair of a rapidly developing Charity holding assets in excess of £12million, regularly distributing more than £2million in grants and employing 15 people. What had I done?!!

Was I daunted?
No…Well, perhaps a little.
Challenged? Yes.
Excited? Definitely.
Humbled? Very.

The Foundation is an amazing group to be involved with. In the five plus years I have been a Trustee I have seen it progress from being a well respected but relatively unknown local charity to become recognised as a force for good across the West Midlands region.

This is particularly due to the very skilled and committed Teams at Tile Hill and Dudley. Also down to the volunteer Trustees and Grant Panel members from all walks of life, who deliver off the back of a diverse, very willing and expanding Donor base.

A lot of hard work and perseverance has got us here – Success doesn’t just happen!

There have only been four Chairs prior to me – Peter Deeley who was involved from its inception. John Atkinson who steered us through that difficult stage of growth when the initial euphoria has died down. Brian Holt who nurtured and developed things further and Paul Belfield who I am very proud to be taking over from. Many thanks to them all and particularly to Paul for his wise and effective leadership over the past four years.

Paul has set a very hard act to follow. Over his tenure the sometimes petulant and awkward teenager of H of ECF has grown into adulthood. Flourishing so much that now we are often being approached for help and input as opposed to having to prize open the donor coffers quite so much.

So, how to follow that? Face the new challenges ahead and reap the rewards of more hard work. I noted at Foundation Live our target to build the endowment to over £20million by 2020. This will be a tough ask. However, with the goodwill and support of all we will achieve this and more.

You can help us reach and help even more of the West Midlands community. If you know of Trusts that are lying a little fallow or dormant please let us know – we can help rejuvenate them. We have many good examples to offer. Similarly, if you know of Businesses and/or Individuals who are generating wealth and want to see that achieve a lot more – point them in our direction.

Also if you know of groups that need our support refer them to the Grants team. They will help find ways to assist as the many projects in our Annual Review and at Foundation Live ably highlight.

So yes, the times ahead are full of challenges but the rewards are great.

Please continue to help us in our quest to be and continue to be the “Go to” place for Philanthropy in the West Midlands region. I am very much looking forward to playing my part in that – I hope that you are too.

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