Farewell to our Chair, The Lady Colgrain

8th June 2017

Last week, we said goodbye to our Chair, The Lady Colgrain, who has been a member of our board for nearly 12 years.

It has been a huge privilege to have been involved with Kent Community Foundation for the past eleven and a half years. When I first became a Trustee, KCF was only 5 years old with 13 Fund Holders and endowed funds of £1.5m and was mainly reliant upon – very generous, mind you- flow-through donations to be distributed annually. This was impressive at the time. Community Foundations were still little known and the need for local philanthropy still little understood.

All this has now changed. Community Foundations nationwide collectively manage over half a billion pounds in endowments. Kent Community Foundation is now in its sixteenth year, we have over 70 Funds under our umbrella and our Endowment Funds have now grown to nearly £18m providing a long-term source of charitable income for charities in Kent. The income from these endowments together with other annual ‘flow through’ donations means that we are meeting our target of distributing between £1.5m and £2m a year to small, local charities doing such valuable work with the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community. Over the past 16 years we have distributed £27.5 million and in the last five years alone we have made over 2,500 grants to organisations across Kent reaching a phenomenal number of people.

I can claim little credit for this huge expansion. The work done by the team at KCF speaks for itself and I am also immensely grateful to both our existing Fund Holders and my fellow trustees, past and present, for spreading the word so effectively. The whole Trustee Board is immensely committed to the cause and they all give up a huge amount of their time to KCF and to promoting it around the county.

One of the great successes of KCF is that it is a little like a family of philanthropists. Philanthropy should not be an isolated activity. We all learn so much from each other. I will be very sad to leave KCF but I know that in handing over to Tim Bull as Chair, Kent Community Foundation is being left in the safest and most thoughtful hands I know. Tim has not only been an immensely effective Vice Chairman but is also a committed philanthropist and one of our oldest Fund-holders. Thank you.

Annabel Campbell