Community Foundations operate across the UK to help connect people who care with causes in their local communities that matter. Small charities are a vital lifeline to vulnerable members of society, and they account for 50% of all charities, yet receive only 0.6% of all funding.

Kent Community Foundation aims to change this, and runs a number of services for individuals, families and businesses who would like to help in supporting the people of Kent. These include:

A donor-advised Fund – a straightforward way for an individual, business or trust to give without having to set up a stand-alone charitable trust. The Fund can remain anonymous or be named after or by the individual. Kent Community Foundation researches the projects and groups which match the criteria and present these to the Fund-holder. 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.

The Legacy Service – for people who want to leave a lasting gift in their Will. They simply name Kent Community Foundation as a beneficiary in their Will and draft a letter of wishes to outline how they would like them to manage their community 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 tell us if they would like to nominate 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.

Hornbeam Charitable Fund

Three generations of the Jessel family are now helping to make a difference through the Hornbeam Charitable Fund, a donor-advised Fund managed by Kent Community Foundation. George Jessel is a partner in a fully diversified 1,200-acre family farm and comments: “My father, Sir Charles Jessel, has had a charitable trust for the last 20 or so years and Kent Community Foundation now manages this for him. The three of us – my father, wife Vicki, and myself decided we wanted to do something as a family, so clubbed together and set up our own family Fund with Kent Community Foundation. Along with our two children we all meet up twice a year and usually let the children choose where to put the money. We look to support rural projects and those that benefit the younger generation, so one recent project was a sum of money towards a project for young mums who struggle to access services, enabling them to attend parenting courses. We have also supported a fairly isolated music group for disabled people, providing money towards instruments and laying down tracks to make it more accessible to users. We enjoy coming together as a family to make the decisions knowing that Kent Community Foundation have done a great job researching the groups and projects that meet our criteria, and it is nice to give something back. Moderate sums can go a long way and make a huge difference.”

Carol Lynch, Kent Community Foundation comments: “We know farmers already do a lot for their local communities and for those that want to give more strategically, but don’t have the time to dedicate to it, we can help. We do this by supporting our fund-holders with their philanthropic aims and do all of the legwork for them, from identifying groups and projects that meet their chosen criteria to performing all necessary due diligence, administration and follow up. For example, a project Kent Community Foundation have recently supported is the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme, which trains and employs individuals struggling to enter the workplace to learn traditional wood management skills. ”

Kent Community Foundation can be reached at 01303 814500 or

Pictured: The Jessels