Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

OPINION | 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 that 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 or to enquire about funding for charitable organisations email or visit


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