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This time its personal Martha Wilkinson

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Today we are going to explore philanthropy, some of my experience of working with philanthropists and why some people don’t give as well as why they do. …

Today we are going to explore philanthropy, some of my experience of working with philanthropists and why some people don’t give as well as why they do.

Why? Because for the moment and probably for the foreseeable future the days of accessing funding from large scale government programmes or local statutory agencies are over and we need to expand our sources of income.

And as effective groups, helping people in need and bringing about positive social change you are exactly what philanthropists are looking for.

Don’t make the mistake that you can only be a philanthropist if you have a give squillions, exactly the same principles apply to attracting and maintaining local donations from local people.

But encouraging support from philanthropists is a different skill to writing a great bid to an ‘institutional’ funder. Why? Because its personal ........


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  • Good morning my name is Martha Wilkinson and I am the Chief Executive of Devon Community Foundation. There are 7 CFs in the South West, each with a total obsessionwith their own local area, in my case Devon and that includes Plymouth and Torbay. There are Foundations in Cornwall, Dorset, Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, each of us are a charity in out own right. Our charitable purpose is to give funds to local groups and organisations tackling disadvantage AND to help local donors get the funds to where they are most needed. We are here for local groups, local donors and for Devon – we point three ways! Maybe that makes us a moral compass!Community Foundations are established as a way for local donors to get their money to where it is really needed, generally small local organisations and charities that support the most vulnerable people in our community. These donors are Community Philanthropists and I would like to remind you before we start that all philanthropy means is “the love of humankind” – it’s the term we use to describe the most instinctive of human emotions – the urge to help.Today we are going to explore philanthropy, some of my experience of working with philanthropists and why some people don’t give as well as why they do.Why? Because for the moment and probably for the foreseeable future the days of accessing funding from large scale government programmes or local statutory agencies are over and we need to expand our sources of income. And as effective groups, helping people in need and bringing about positive social change you are exactly what philanthropists are looking for. Don’t make the mistake that you can only be a philanthropist if you have a give squillions, exactly the same principles apply to attracting and maintaining local donations from local people.But encouraging support from philanthropists is a different skill to writing a great bid to an ‘institutional’ funder. Why? Because its personal ........ So cracking on – what makes people give?
  • This painting was painted in the 16th Century  It is by Breughel and is called “The Fall of Icarus”. In Greek legend, Icarus made himself wings, but flew too close to the sun, so that the wax in his wings melted and he fell to earth. In fact the thing most of us know about Icarus is that he messed up – shame we don’t really think about his ambition to try new things, his good ideas that so nearly worked, his exuberant confidence that he could fly!  But the painting isn’t really about Icarus. It is about apathy.  As Icarus quietly drowns in one corner of the painting, the ploughman keeps looking down, just doing his job, the shepherd looks dreamily into the distance, the fisherman ignores the splashing legs in front of him and the ship that could so easily have thrown him a rope, sails on by. What seems an idyllic scene is, in fact, a tale of apathy; an absence of compassion while someone nearby drowns. These people are not only not looking at Icarus, they are not engaging with each other. Changing this is, fundamentally, what community foundations are all about – building compassionate communities. But why am I showing you this? Scratch the surface of our lovely county and what you find underneath is less picturesque.600 older people die unnecessarily from cold every winterThere are approximately 7000 young carers in the county with an average age of 12 and many have been caring for one or more parents and siblings for 4 years before the come on the radar.Foodbanks are multiplying at a very alarming rate – we have funded at least 4 that have opened in Devon this year.Studies have shown that rural hardship is exponentially deeper than urban hardship – often hidden and exaggerated by isolation, and a lack of services and transport.That’s the bad news.The good news is that there is something that can be done. Community Philanthropy and I bet you that doesn’t mean what you think it does!The origin of the word "community" comes from the Latin ‘munus’, which means the gift, and cum, which means togetheror among each other.  Philanthropy is defined as the love of human kind. String them together and you get:To GIVE (not live) among each other for the love of humankind.Community Philanthropy is alive and well with people bringing their gifts of time, enthusiasm, encouragement, knowledge, skills and yes, you guessed it, CASH to make things better in every town and village, on every day of every year and is incredibly powerful.Community philanthropists have built playgrounds, befriended older people, taken young people on expeditions, helped the homeless, the isolated and people who have a disability. They have given children a good start in life and given some who needed it a chance to start again. They have kept our communities together and helped to heal them where there have been conflicts or divisions.What suffering have you walked past on your way here and what gift can you offer? So that’s my pitch – it takes 2.5 minutes – in developing your own messages for whatever format how might you combine need with inspiration? take a new look at an old story? And engage everyone around you with shared passion to make a change?Thankyou
  • Transcript

    • 1. This time its personal .........
    • 2. How do philanthropists make decisions?
    • 3. How do philanthropists make decisions?