Promoting effective philanthropy


Here at the Guernsey Community Foundation, when we think of Philanthropists we don’t just think of wealth. We think about what else that person might have to offer – their time, their ideas, their knowledge and experience, their networks, their access to resources… Philanthropy is about far more than simply donating money.

Whilst this broader definition opens the door for greater philanthropy in the Bailiwick, in order for it to be effective in whatever form it takes and for it to have the largest impact on the community, it needs to be well informed and targeted. We want to encourage greater philanthropy in the Bailiwick but more than that, we want to ensure that it impacts the areas where it is needed the most.

The Foundation has built a strong track record of researching Guernsey’s voluntary sector and supporting local charities and voluntary organisations as they look to develop their services and to grow. Well informed and targeted philanthropy has played a significant role in our ability to do this. Generosity of funds and generosity of time have enabled us to directly fund new and developing projects, and to run a successful grants programme which has funded a number of key projects over the past two years. We have also developed a volunteering strategy which has worked with other organisations to raise the profile of volunteering in Guernsey on the whole, and has seen around 70 ‘business brains’ and ‘strategic thinkers’ come forward to be placed into charities, using their knowledge and expertise to help them to develop effectively. For this, we thank those philanthropists who are already active and giving so generously.

The development of successful partnerships between the Foundation, the voluntary sector, the States of Guernsey, and the Business sector is key to success. All four are essential to a thriving society and by bringing them closer together we have been better able to influence social policy and to raise the profile of selected causes, giving a voice to those charities who have struggled to be heard. Included in this work is the promotion of cluster groups, formed from charities of similar interests who can work more efficiently together, sharing resources and information, than they can on their own.

Every single volunteer, whether front of house or working behind the scenes to run Guernsey’s wide array of charities, is themselves a philanthropist. In recognition of this, we host the annual Community Awards to celebrate their hard work and dedication to the cause. By identifying and applauding those volunteers and charities that are working well to deliver their services, and that are achieving significant results, we are holding them up as positive examples to others.

For anyone who is inspired by what they see and wishes to achieve similar results, but perhaps doesn’t currently have the expertise to do so, we provide support services to encourage their growth. As well as sourcing help directly from our volunteer register, we run a training programme which seeks to assist charities in areas where training is not currently provided. Examples include Managing and Leading Volunteers and Charity Communications training which, to date, have all been fully subscribed. The programme has the potential to develop and will continue to do so in direct response to need.


Finally, I am sure that the question of funding for the Guernsey Community Foundation itself has crossed your mind! We are very fortunate that our running costs are covered by a small group of like-minded individuals who share our vision of promoting effective philanthropy.


Thanks to the ongoing support of these Founders, we do not seek funds for our own use. This enables us to fully support the rest of the sector, diverting 100% of new funds received to the projects and causes that need it the most. In effect, anyone engaging with the Foundation over their charitable giving is not donating to the Foundation, they are donating through it.


About Author