As we begin 2024, I’m hopeful for another successful year in supporting our regional voluntary and community sector. We had much to celebrate last year, not least securing our largest ever programme – the £9 million Inclusive Communities Fund. So, as we welcome 2024, I hope that the New Year brings much to celebrate for you, your friends and families. 

Reflecting on Progress: A Glimpse into Our Survey Findings

Before we dive into the excitement of the year ahead, I want to reflect on the insights we’ve gained from our recent fundholder survey. Feedback from our donors is invaluable. I am pleased to see their positive engagement and familiarity with our strategic goals and priorities. Over 81% of our donors are very or extremely familiar with our mission.

The survey also shed light on perceptions about our grant distribution. It’s heartening to note that 73% of our donors know that we distribute 90 pence for every £1 raised. This understanding aligns with our commitment to transparency and accountability. Importantly, it also aligns with our commitment to value for money.

I am particularly excited about the positive sentiments expressed about our social value. The survey indicated that 55% of respondents expect their giving to increase or remain the same in the next twelve months. This vote of confidence fuels our determination and will enable us to continue to make a meaningful impact in our communities.

Building Stronger Connections: Your Insights, Our Inspiration

What stood out the most for me is the connection donors felt to the projects they support. Over 75% of respondents are very or extremely familiar with the range of groups and organisations we fund. 100% said that they are aware of the impact of our grantmaking. 

Moreover, the fact that 55% of our donors have engaged directly with or visited a project in the last year is fantastic! We want to ensure donors get an opportunity to see the tangible difference their investment is making so it’s great to see that over 82% of our donors expressed a desire to visit projects in the future. 

Looking Ahead: Nurturing Growth and Collaboration

As we step into 2024, our focus will be developing our new 3 to 5 year strategy, strengthening our support for the voluntary and community sector, securing new long term funds and continuing to listen to both our donors and the communities we serve.

The coming year holds exciting possibilities, and our donor feedback will help to guide us in shaping our new strategy. 

Your Three Words: A Promise of Impact

Three words which were used to describe the Community Foundation – “Community,” “Impact,” and “Connection” – and that’s exactly who we are and what we do!

In conclusion, thank you to all of our donors and fundholders for being an integral part of our community. Your trust, engagement, and passion are the driving forces behind our success. Let’s make 2024 a year of even greater connection and impact for the region.

Warm regards,

Tina Costello Chief Executive 

Heart of England Community Foundation