£15,000 bonus for Scottish charities and community groups

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As some of you will know I volunteer with Scottish Community Foundation, sitting on their National Grants Committee. As part of my role I now sit on the Scottish steering group for localgiving.com, a hyper-local online giving platform owned 50% by Community Foundation Network and 50% by the Ardbrakc Foundation.

Localgiving.com is unique in the fact that various rounds of match funding will be rolled out during 2012, effectively allowing donors to double their money. From 14th May any donation made to Scottish charities registered with Localgiving.com will receive matched funds from a pot worth £15,000.

The Localgiving.com May Match Fund starts at 9am on 14 th May and will continue until the full £15,000 is allocated to Scottish Charities.

By making a donation to a favourite local charity via Localgiving.com, donors can double their gift and the charity receives twice the support as Localgiving.com Scotland matches the amount, with a further 25% coming from Gift Aid. Over 50 Scottish charities have registered with the site, all of which are eligible for match funding. Charities and groups not already registered are encouraged to become part of the initiative by contacting the Scottish Community Foundation or Localgiving.com. Registration is free for the first three months then just £6 per month.

Scottish Community Foundation to manage £15M JESSICA (Scotland) Trust

The Scottish Community Foundation has been appointed by the Big Lottery Fund to set up and run the £15 million JESSICA (Scotland) Trust.

JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) funding is targeted at geographic neighbourhoods of greatest disadvantage and will benefit up to 13 designated local authority areas in Scotland.

The Foundation has been appointed by Big Lottery to set up the Trust and create a new independent body governed by a board of trustees, who will take the key investment decisions on its funds as well as being responsible for the trust’s governance. The Foundation will also develop a business plan and a funding framework to determine how the trust’s funds will be invested in appropriate organisations and projects. Subject to the business plan being approved by the Big lottery Fund, it’s anticipated that the JESSICA (Scotland) Trust will be up and running by the end of 2011. £15m will be distributed as both grants and loans over a ten-year period.

The BIG Lottery Fund is establishing the trust to build on the European Investment Bank’s Scotland JESSICA Fund by investing in complementary projects that create opportunities for local people and community-led organisations to develop locally controlled assets and enterprises.

Between March and July, we’ll be working with other organisations and experts in regeneration to prepare for the Trust’s launch. We expect to work closely with the organisation that will be appointed by the European Investment Bank to manage its Scotland Jessica Fund to make sure the two funds maximise opportunities for co-investment in sustainable regeneration projects. We’ll also be working with the Scottish Community Alliance to explore how the resources and expertise of its member organisations can be channelled into JESSICA communities to add value to the financial investment from the trust.

The Foundation was selected in a competitive process from seven bidders to undertake this work. BIG is keen to ensure change and development are strongly shaped by the communities concerned and that local people have a genuine say in developing their communities. The Foundation brings its track record in delivering the Big Lottery Fair Share Trust in Scotland and in supporting communities in receipt of community benefit payments from energy developers, as well as its experience of managing endowed funds on behalf of a range of clients to the task of setting up the Jessica Trust.

Read more about JESSICA on the Big Lottery website.

As a Scottish Community Foundation Grants Committee member I’m really pleased they’ve been selected to manage this trust.

Fair Share Trust in Scotland: Lessons learned

I’m proud to have sat on the national grants committee for the Big Lottery Fund Fair Share Trust – managed by the Scottish Community Foundation the Trust has helped channel over £6m to local projects, with an emphasis on making a real difference in local communities, helping build lasting connections and networks.

The Fair Share Trust has now come to an end in Scotland and I think some of the lessons learned from the programme are invaluable to anyone interested in raising community capacity.

As is detailed in ‘Fair Enough…lessons from the Fair Share Trust in Scotland’ (below), the Trust “went beyond grant giving. In each neighbourhood a panel made up of people living or working in the area determined the local priorities and advised on funding. This local knowledge and involvement ensured communities maintained ownership of the FST programme in their area and produced the added benefit of building social capital, the dynamic mix of skills, knowledge and resources in a community that will sustain the impact of the programme long after the funding has been spent.”

The fact that almost three quarters of projects funded by Fair Share Trust in Scotland are continuing in some way beyond the life of the programme is testament to its success.

Handbags at dawn

Chief Handbag Fan

Some of you will know that I sit on Scottish Community Foundation’s Grants Committee. As part of my role I’m lucky enough to get to hear about the work carried out by the Women’s Fund for Scotland. Established by the Foundation in 2002, the fund has given away £1M in grants to over 550 community groups, helping to provide life changing skills; opportunities to learn and ways to build the confidence of those overcoming domestic violence, poverty or ill health.

In a round about way my link to the Women’s Fund for Scotland finds me blogging about something I know nothing about…handbags. I know that grown men shouldn’t have their boxers showing over the top of their jeans and nobody should wear white leather loafers. Therein my knowledge of fashion ends. I can however tell you with great glee that you’ll have the chance to bid on some ludicrously exclusive bags at Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh, on 27th September 2010. 

To get involved in the event check out @HandbagHeaven10 or HandbagHeaven.org.uk

Here’s the full list of bags up for auction:

Kylie Minogue has donated a Tous tote bag that is black and white and she has signed the inside lining

A unique bag from Coccinelle donated by Annie Lennox

A turquoise expanding clutch bag from Sienna Miller

A cute little denim Fendi bag with snakeskin strap from Sophie Dahl

Dark stemmed tote bag from Orla Kiely

Small chic black Prada bag donated by Lisa Kudrow

A funky tan patent satchel from Ted Baker

Vogue donated a Kate Moss for Longchamp bag its a large zebra pony horse hair bag

A bayswater style large denim bag by Mulberry donated by Petra Ecclestone

Happy bidding!