The world’s first community foundation was established in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 1914 by banker and lawyer Frederick H. Goff to “pool the charitable resources of Cleveland’s philanthropists, living and dead, into a single, great, and permanent endowment for the betterment of the city… for the mental, moral, and physical improvement of the inhabitants of Cleveland.”
The first UK community foundation was established in Swindon in 1975 and by the 1980s there were six community foundations operating in the UK. In 1991 the Community Foundation Network (CFN) was established as an umbrella organisation for community foundations in the UK until it was renamed UK Community Foundations (UKCF) in 2013. By 2016 there were over 1,800 community foundations around the world with 48 in the UK alone. A full history of community foundations in the UK can be found here.
Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) can trace its beginnings back to 1997 when the then High Sheriff of Cumbria John Fryer-Spedding CBE recruited a steering group to assess the feasibility of a community foundation in Cumbria. Thereafter, CCF was launched in 1999 with a founding donation of £1 million from British Nuclear Fuels Limited (now Sellafield Limited) and the support of all seven local authorities within the county.
Milestones in CCF’s history include:
- 2016: More than £30 million in grants awarded to date throughout the county
- 2015/16: More than £10.3 million was raised by the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal to assist individuals and communities affected by Storm Desmond
- 2015: CCF won the Grantmaking and Funding category of the 2015 UK Charity Awards in recognition of the achievements of the Neighbourhood Care Independence Programme, renamed Place Based Services
- 2015: More than £25 million in grants awarded to date throughout the county
- 2010: Over 10,000 grants awarded to date throughout the county
- 2009: The £2.5 million Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) Community Fund was secured – the largest local corporate fund
- 2009: A flood appeal was launched to assist individuals and communities affected by the flooding throughout Allerdale – the Flood Recovery Funds in 2005 and 2009 raised a combined total of £3.8 million and resulted in CCF receiving national accolades for fundraising and grant-making
- 2005: A flood appeal was launched to assist individuals and communities affected by the flooding in Carlisle and surrounding areas
- 2001: £2.1 million was raised to assist individuals and communities affected by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease