The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland’s lunch celebrating women in philanthropy – held on International Women’s Day – regularly attracts an audience of 300 professional businesswomen and raises money for the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation. Now in its tenth year, the event’s supporters include Dame Margaret Barbour, a renowned community philanthropist and the founding donor to the Women’s Fund, which has now made awards of over £350,000 to women-only projects in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
Clarand Accountants, which was founded in 2013, is sponsoring the lunch for a second time. Directors Claire Priestley and Claire Yeats attended the lunch as guests during their first week of business and now they have chosen to sponsor the event as a key part of their social responsibility programme.
To mark the tenth anniversary, the Community Foundation has rebranded the event as a Celebration of Women in Philanthropy. Taking place on March 3 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Newcastle Stephenson Quarter, this year’s event will feature keynote speaker Irene Dorner, a passionate philanthropist, international businesswoman and a donor at the Community Foundation. Other speakers are from the Northern Learning Trust, a beneficiary of Community Foundation funding which is crowdfunding for a new family learning programme in South Tyneside, as well as host Carol Malia of BBC Look North and a Vice-President of the Community Foundation.
Past speakers include pharmacist-to-philanthropist Fiona Cruickshank, who was appointed chair of the Community Foundation in November 2016.
The Community Foundation is a philanthropy advice and grant-making charity based in Gosforth. It works with a variety of donors and partners, as well as regional and national funders to support charities and community projects in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.
These range from responsible businesses such as Muckle LLP, Ringtons and the Port of Tyne to visionary philanthropists such as Ron and Louise Bowey, Tony Platten and Helen McArdle.
The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is the largest foundation of its kind in the UK, with more than 250 philanthropic funds and an endowment of nearly £75 million. Since 1988, the foundation has awarded more than £100 million to communities in the North East, while building a wealth of community knowledge to aid donors in making an effective choice in their giving.
To encourage new philanthropy and corporate giving, the foundation has recently launched an endowment challenge, dubbed Mr Murray’s Million Pound Match.
The initiative was established with a legacy from a local flour miller and aims to encourage philanthropists and businesses to establish a community endowment and support existing donors to grow their giving with a £1 match on donations of £2. More than £1 million has been donated so far, with Keith Pattinson Estate Agents opening a flagship fund to support a housing and homelessness project in the North East.