In Interviews, News

We recently caught up with one of our fund-holders who gives anonymously and spoke to them about why they have partnered with Heart of Bucks for their charitable giving

How long have you been involved in charitable work?

It is only since selling my business four years ago, and the death of my parents shortly before, that I have become more involved in charitable giving. My parents started with very little and worked hard, leading long and productive lives. After they died I realised the legacy I was due to receive was something that I didn’t really need, and neither did my children. They had grown up, left home and forged successful lives of their own: I wanted them to find their own paths and that is what they have done. I realised others out there needed financial and charitable support far more than they did. Once that became clear to me, and once I had time and space to think about charitable giving, I considered the possibility of setting up some form of charitable pot or trust. I started my research and came across Heart of Bucks.

Why did you choose to set up a fund with Heart of Bucks?

Previously, I had not put that much thought into charitable giving as I was too involved with running a business. Subsequently it has become my main focus, but I didn’t realise that it’s just as hard to give money away as it is to earn it, especially if you have a business background! In the commercial world, you have a set of targets and you know what your priorities are. Within the charitable world everything is a ‘good cause’ and it’s the process of identifying, researching, checking and prioritising those good causes that I find challenging. This is where ‘umbrella’ charitable organisations, such as Heart of Bucks can really help, with their wider overview of the sector. A key quality that appealed to me is Heart of Bucks’ research ability. They have a much better understanding of the needs of Buckinghamshire and its residents, and more experience in prioritising and targeting charitable support than any one individual could hope to gain.

What do you like most about having a fund with a community foundation?

The grants team receives an abundance of applications and they then filter through to me the ones that fit my criteria. The grants team has the expertise and local knowledge to only send through projects that they know I’ll be interested in and I value the time they spend on that filtering. As an outsider to the charity sector, I also appreciate the team at Heart of Bucks being available to talk about my giving and local needs. Building a relationship is key for me, and it is much easier to form a relationship with a local, community-minded organisation than a national one. Heart of Bucks is a vessel for collating all the information that I need in a clear and concise way, allowing me to support local causes with confidence.

What would you say to someone thinking about setting up a fund with Heart of Bucks?

First of all I would simply say – it’s been a great idea for me. There is no other organisation that I’m aware of, offering such good research capabilities and bespoke local knowledge. Heart of Bucks know what Buckinghamshire needs and can help you to make a difference. Secondly, I would say, go and talk to them – preferably face to face (now we’re allowed out again). Or ask them to put you in touch with another fund holder. By talking you’ll find out whether their advice and support will help you meet your needs or aims. I’d be amazed if you didn’t come away with fresh ideas on how to structure or target your giving.

Why do you choose to give anonymously?

Remaining anonymous is a key factor in my charitable giving, unless I want to become actively involved in the operation or governance of a charity – which is a very different commitment to providing financial support. And I don’t think you should be doing charitable giving to blow your own trumpet. I want time and space to consider priorities and to be able to change and evolve them. I don’t want to be swamped and once you’re on a mailing list you never seem to get off it, even with GDPR! Maintaining anonymity by setting up an individual Heart of Bucks fund was an important aspect for me. Of course the most important aspect is ensuring donations and funding go to the right places and to those who need it most. As far as I’m concerned Heart of Bucks earn their keep by using their time, experience and resource to achieve that more efficiently than I could personally.

If you’d like to find out more about how Heart of Bucks can assist with your charitable giving please get in touch: