Community Foundation announces £2.6m deal to secure legacy of South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust

Heart of England Community Foundation has completed the takeover of South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust to provide it with a lasting legacy of supporting disadvantaged communities in the West Midlands.

The transfer of assets included £1.2 million as well as five residential properties each valued at £280,000, which has been transferred into the Foundation’s endowment as a named fund. The transfer was made to overcome succession challenges for the charity’s board, with the charity requiring stewardship to enable it to continue its work providing grants that benefit communities across south Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.

The Foundation has been working with the charity, which was originally set-up in 1906, for several years ahead of the transfer, and trustees will remain involved as panel members for future grant making. The charity did not have any employed members of staff and was run by the trustees, therefore there has been no job cuts or redundancies.

Robert Morris, former Chair of Trustees of South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust, said:

“Being part of Heart of England Community Foundation brings stability and succession to our Trust.

“We have now secured a permanent legacy for South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust, meaning that we can continue to support disadvantaged communities in the West Midlands. 

“We are excited to work with the Foundation to continue this important work over the coming years.”

Heart of England Community Foundation is now advising on the long-term benefits that community foundations can bring to struggling charities and trusts who require support. 

Tina Costello, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Community Foundation, said:

“Succession planning is vitally important for any charity – but it is crucial to know that winding up completely is not the only option should this succession not be in place. South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust is an active grant-giving charity with values that are aligned with those of the Foundation and that works within the same geographical location. 

“We provided trustees with an opportunity to continue supporting disadvantaged communities across the West Midlands as well as having an active involvement in grant-making decisions, while we manage the fund itself.

“For the Foundation, this takeover supports us to grow our investments to ensure we are sustainable for the long-term benefits of communities that we support. We now look forward to working with trustees to ensure the fantastic work of the charity is continued.”

As a trusted partner and advisor, Heart of England Community Foundation has proudly allocated over £35 million to over 7,000 good causes across the Midlands region since 1995. Our unmatched insights, bolstered by our extensive track record and experience, empowers our donors to fully realise the potential of their charitable contributions.

Through the Revitalising Trusts Programme, the Community Foundation helps to unlock resources from inactive or dormant charitable trusts and those with succession planning issues, channelling those resources towards community impact. Heart of England Community Foundation collaborates with the Charity Commission for England and Wales to facilitate this process, offering comprehensive support to trustees at every stage.

You can find more information about our work to revitalise trusts and foundations here.

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