Why Charitable Giving is so Important

Robert Sackville-West, DL, speaks about why charitable giving today is more important than ever before, and how working with Kent Community Foundation is the easiest way to make a difference to local communities across Kent.

Like many philanthropists, Robert is very concerned about the developing cost of living crisis affecting people across his home county.  He is encouraging those who can afford to invest in their community to work with grant-makers Kent Community Foundation to distribute much-needed funding directly to worthwhile, fully vetted grassroots causes.

Robert knows grant-makers Kent Community Foundation well, having been a trustee for the last five years and Chair since January 2022. He was so impressed by how diligent their grant-making is, that he and his wife Jane decided to open a charitable endowment fund with them three years ago. Over the last twenty years the Foundation has awarded over £50 million to thousands of grassroots organisations across the county. Having reacted quickly to the additional requests for financial support during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are now gearing up to support charitable organisations whose resources will be stretched by the cost-of-living crisis.

Robert Sackville-West, DL, says “I receive many requests for financial support from charitable organisations but before I discovered Kent Community Foundation, I had no means of assessing whether those requests were from well-run charities or the need was what they said it was, making the process of giving difficult and time consuming. When I discovered that the Kent Community Foundation team were experts in linking people who wanted to invest in their local community with good causes who needed support, it was an easy decision to become a trustee and subsequently set up an endowment fund.

“As a trustee I have seen first-hand the huge number of applications for financial support they receive and the professional way that Kent Community Foundation evaluates and analyses each request. Having witnessed the difference that these grants make,  I am keen to show others who want to donate and support those in need just what an effective channel this is.

“Kent is a county full of contrasts; on the one hand it is a suburb of London, on the other the gateway to Europe. It is known as the ‘Garden of England’ but is also an ex-mining community. Through working closely with Kent Community Foundation, I have a clearer idea of how stark the differences are between the extremes of wealth and poverty.

“Kent Community Foundation recently commissioned a ‘Needs Analysis Report’ to assess where the demands are greatest across each of the thirteen districts so that they can directly target grant-giving towards specific requirements in each area.

“As Chairman of the Kent Community Foundation board, I see two challenges for the future. Firstly, to support those who are adversely affected by the cost-of-living crisis and secondly, to increase the level of funding that the Foundation can award by encouraging others to set up charitable funds or to donate to support their community.

“As the cost-of-living crisis escalates, now is the time for those who can help ease the increasing burden for charities  to step forward and see the difference that they can make across the county.”

To request more information about setting up a fund with Kent Community Foundation or donating email amy@kentcf.org.uk or to enquire about funding for charitable organisations email admin@kentcf.org.uk or visit www.kentcf.org.uk/funding

About Robert Sackville West DL

Robert Sackville-West DL spent most of his career in publishing, creating illustrated books for an international market. He is executive chairman of Knole Estates, the property and investment company which in parallel with the National Trust  cares for Knole House and Park in Kent. He has been a Kent Community Foundation Trustee since 2017 and set up an endowment fund with them in June 2019.

About Kent Community Foundation

Grant-maker Kent Community Foundation has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary organisations in the county for twenty years. In this time, it has distributed over £50 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

They are part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses, who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.