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  • Writer's pictureCharity Chat Podcast

E178 - Community Foundations With Kate Hainsworth

“…nobody achieves anything in isolation, it’s all about working together, that collegiate working and having a sense of common cause is the thing that makes the difference, certainly when we’re taking about poverty and lack of access to opportunity…” - Kate Hainsworth

In this episode we speak with Kate Hainsworth, CEO of Leeds Community Foundation Give Bradford about the work of Community Foundations, and specifically her experience of leading a Community Foundation.

1. What a Community Foundation does

Leeds Community Foundation Give Bradford, as with other Community Foundations work to support charities and other charitable organisations, of different sizes to improve the lives and life-chances of those living in their communities.

Long-term and flexible investment in the future lies at the heart of Kate’s philosophy. To ensure that the Foundation is being as strategic as possible in order to meet the needs of the community, including interfacing with donors who want to put money into that community in the most effective way, and also being guided by a comprehensive theory of change to be as effective as possible.

Kate looks at the work her Foundation is doing by reflecting on the framework of the UN Sustainable Development goals. And uses this as a way of thinking about the work they are doing against these big global ambitions.

Kate’s advise to those charities or charitable groups and individuals that have a really good, well thought through idea, authentically generated from their communities, is to contact their local Community Foundation.

If you are in the Leeds or Bradford areas of the UK, you can start by visiting:

2. How the pandemic is helping to drive Community Foundation’s strategic planning

Equality, diversity and inclusion is a driver of the decisions that Kate and her team are making, and this has only increased as the pandemic has helped to highlight the inequities in our society.

The Foundation pivoted quickly to meet the new reality of Covid-19, which entailed moving to remote working, digitising, and providing more flexible funding to their various project partners. This bridging money was crucial in helping these charities and groups to keep supporting their beneficiaries in the particularly difficult circumstance that the pandemic highlighted, such as health insecurities, education challenges, the local authority having to retract, and Universal Credit and the negative impact of this on those in most need.

The sector is really tired, and similar to the NHS many of the groups and charities that Kate’s Foundation comes into regular contact with are tired out and there is a risk of fatigue and burn out among these groups who continue to struggle to support their beneficiary groups.

3. The power of resilience and how to charge up

Resilience is a crucial aspect of success and how we manage our daily lives through the challenges that we face. Kate hailed her team as a major support and motivating in how they work and their belief in the work that they do.

Looking at the things that you have done rather than the things that you haven’t is important. There is always more work to be done, more good that we can do, but rather than seeing the lack, especially when we are running on a low ebb, we should focus on what has been achieved and the power that we have to do good in that moment, and let that realisation empower us, heal us, and motivate us to get up again tomorrow and get back out there.

There is a tug of war of good actions and bad actions, we may never win but it’s about which side you spend your life on, and what you can do to contribute to the effort for good.

This episode of Charity Chat has been brought to you by our platinum sponsor Work for Good, a fundraising platform which helps charities streamline and unlock small business sales fundraising, via a supporter-friendly digital Commercial Participation solution. So that small but mighty businesses can fundraise for causes they love and charities can maximise this awesome sustainable source of income. Head to to sign-up for free!

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Related episodes that you may be interested in:

E148 - Grant Seekers And Grant Makers With Alex Blake -

E134 - Digital Transformations With Shaf Mansour -

E116 - Team Resilience with Anne Hughes -


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