Revitalising charitable trusts to support local communities

17th April 2019

Local charities make up the lifeblood of our communities and make a daily difference to millions of people.

The Government’s Revitalising Trusts initiative aims to unlock £20m of inactive trusts through a partnership with UK Community Foundations and the Charity Commission.

There are many charitable trust funds in England and Wales that are inactive. The original founders and trustees may have died and many of the funds are now relatively small pots of money which makes it difficult to ensure they have a meaningful and local impact. Collectively these trusts total a significant amount which remains inactive in bank accounts but which could be used to support local voluntary and community groups and make a huge difference to local communities.

This initiative will provide a huge boost to local charities in Cumbria by distributing funds from inactive trusts to good causes.

Trustees of charities across Cumbria have started to receive letters from the Charity Commission if they have not distributed significant funds over the last five years.

Charitable trusts may struggle to use their income for a number of reasons, including:

  • Their original purpose is out of date
  • Trustees struggle to find suitable organisations or people to support
  • The real value of the fund has been eroded
  • The trust is unable to find new trustees
  • The burden of administration becomes too onerous

Community foundations are an effective and sustainable option for revitalising trusts and keeping them working to support local projects. We have staff with the professional skills and local knowledge to take on the management of these trusts, so they can continue to provide funding for the long term benefit of local communities, as the trusts originally intended.

If you are a trustee and would like to know more about how Cumbria Community Foundation can help to rejuvenate the assets of an ineffective fund, or take over the trusteeship of an active fund with a view to ensuring the objects of the fund continue to be met, then please contact us on 01900 825760.