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Managing legacies on behalf of clients

Many people consider how they can leave a charitable legacy when they are making or updating their Will, but how can you be sure the money will reach the right beneficiaries and really make a difference?

A law firm in Kent was recently tasked with administering a six-figure charitable legacy on behalf of a client, who wanted the money to provide
on-going support to smaller organisations, rather than a one-off bequest to a single cause. The firm called on Kent Community Foundation to help create a lasting legacy.

The result is a trust fund, established at Kent Community Foundation and it takes care of the day-to-day running of the fund, with the law firm remaining fully involved in advising how the money will be spent. Kent Community Foundation researches worthy charitable causes and projects and prepares a shortlist to be considered at an annual meeting with the law firm. This is something we can also do with Kent Community Foundation on behalf of our clients at Gullands, if you would like to set one up.

Whilst law firms are expert in the regulatory and compliance issues involved in setting up and running a charitable trust, they tend not to have the time to run the grant-making side, nor have the detailed knowledge of where funding, even small amounts, can really make a difference locally. This is where Kent Community Foundation comes in, with over 14 years’ experience of managing all aspects of local grant-making, from handling enquiries and researching projects, to managing applications, due diligence and follow-up monitoring and evaluation. Kent Community Foundation specialise in grants programmes that support local community causes.

Other ways to give

Kent Community Foundation runs a number of services for individuals, families and businesses who would like help with their charitable giving and these services extend to the professional advisors, who are working with clients interested in philanthropy. Hand in hand they can work with your appointed legal advisors, such as Gullands, on your behalf.

More and more people are recognising that a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation is a convenient and cost effective alternative to setting up a stand-alone charitable trust. All of the administration and day-to-day running is managed by Kent Community Foundation, which offers a convenient and cost-effective solution for busy individuals.

While Donor Advised Funds are typically set up during the donor’s lifetime, the Legacy Service is for people who want to leave a gift to the local community in their Will. A legacy fund at Kent Community Foundation is ideal for those who would like their bequest to support a range of smaller causes, where a little goes a long way, rather than make a gift to a single cause. It is a very straight-forward and effective service whereby the individual simply names Kent Community Foundation as a beneficiary in their Will and, in parallel, draws up a letter of wishes to outline how they would like them to manage their legacy. The donor can name individual organisations they would like their legacy fund to support, or just general themes, such as local children’s charities. A legacy fund can be set up in an individual’s or family name and the donor can say if they would like surviving friends and family to be involved with the grant-making decisions in the future. Unlike other charitable gifts, a legacy can be invested to create a lasting gift for the people of Kent, as an enduring memorial to the individual.

It is also possible to undertake Trust Transfers, to help revitalise trusts that have become moribund or where trustees are simply finding the role burdensome, especially where it is difficult to recruit new trustees or to make effective grants. Kent Community Foundation can provide a safe haven for such trusts and ensure that grant-making is resumed in the spirit of the original objectives. Trustees can stay fully involved as advisors recommending future grants, whilst the legal responsibility is transferred to Kent Community Foundation.

If you are looking for effective ways to give back to your local community, we would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Blair Gulland, Chairman of Gullands is a trustee of Kent Community Foundation and works closely with Carol Lynch and her team, to help the hundreds of small groups and organisations they help fund in Kent each year.

Kent Community Foundation is a charity and is part of a national network of 48 Community Foundations with the aim of transforming the lives of people living locally. It also works in partnership with other grant-making bodies to maximise the benefit for the people of Kent. Since its establishment in 2001, Kent Community Foundation has given away more than £26million in grants, and its total endowment now stands at more than £11million.

Of the £2 billion left annually in the UK to charities, three quarters of this goes to charities turning over in excess of
£10 million, which doesn’t leave much for the many smaller local organisations.

For more information call 01303 814500 or