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In Celebration of Giving Tuesday

03 December 2019
Today marks four years since the official launch of the DWF Foundation. Since its formation, the Foundation has helped charities all over the world that are focused on education, employability, homelessness and health and well-being. To date, it has given £281k through more than 127 grants and helped so many people. Group CEO, Andrew Leaitherland, reflects on how the Foundation has provided an excellent opportunity for our people to make a difference in their local communities.

The Foundation is able to assist smaller local charities and projects that tackle specific community issues; help voluntary and community groups to become more effective and efficient; encourage the involvement of those that are too often excluded, and enable young people to develop skills – both for the benefit of themselves and of their communities. These smaller charities tell us they often find it hard to access funds due to their size and resources, so we know the work of the Foundation make a real difference to them. 

In February this year, the Foundation awarded its 100th grant to Bosco Society, a homeless charity based in Bootle, Liverpool. The grant helped the charity to deliver training sessions on pre-tenancy awareness, budgeting, life-skills (such as cooking on a budget), among other subjects, that will help equip hostel residents with the skills they need to live independently.

The majority of the funds raised for the DWF Foundation come from the donations and fundraising of our people, in the last year over a third of our people have taken part in a fundraising activity. Floating on the London Stock Exchange allowed us to support the Foundation even further through the donation of 1.8m shares, enabling it to sustain and expand its grant-giving across the UK and internationally. This significant donation will help generate more funds for the Foundation through dividend payments and the potential to buy and sell shares. 

The first dividend payment to the Foundation totalled over £18k. This will go towards the next round of grant-giving, effectively doubling the level of funding typically available to the Foundation. The trustees meet on Thursday, 5 December to discuss the applications and we hope the grants awarded this week will take total donations made by the Foundation past £300k.

The DWF Foundation is at the heart of the business, complementing our values and culture of contribution. But supporting the Foundation doesn't just have to be through monetary donations. Since 2015 I have faced many fears. I have leapt out of a plane at 10,000 feet, walked across razor-sharp broken glass and zip-wired at more than 100mph - all in support of the Foundation. 

Employees, potential employees, clients and other stakeholders expect businesses to make a positive societal impact, and the Foundation provides an excellent opportunity for our people to make a difference in their local communities. I want to say a thank you to all of our employees at DWF that have contributed to making this Foundation year a successful one, let’s make 2020 a year to remember. 

Andrew Leaitherland, Group CEO

If you are a registered charity working in a county in which there is a DWF presence and would like to make an application for a grant, please use our Online Application Form.