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Issue 4:  June 2022



Welcome to Issue 4 of the Newsletter dedicated to our Company’s philanthropic efforts. The scope is broadly: updates on a selection of our pro bono assignments and the work of the Company’s charitable fund. (Ed: You can still find earlier issues here).  It’s been six months since the previous edition for the simple reason that I missed one having gone down with COVID. I hope you enjoy the latest edition which I've tried to keep short and sweet.

Recent Grants by the Charitable Fund

It has been a relatively quiet period for the charitable fund, but two significant grants have been made in recent months: 

  • A grant of £10,000 to The Age of No Retirement. Those that were at the Charities Supper will recall an excellent talk by Chief Executive Jonathan Collie.  This continues to be a good example where we have provided pro bono support along with financial support.  I plan to provide an update via a case study in a future GTKP newsletter. 
  • A grant of £5,000 was made to the Disasters Emergency Committee Relief Fund - Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal  for the relief of suffering in Ukraine. This was early on in hostilities and was reported at the Spring Court meeting and in the notes that I circulated shortly thereafter. 

Having said that things were quiet, two new grant applications have been received in recent weeks and both are currently going through the grant assessment process. More on them in future, if indeed they are successful.  Some effort has been invested in further articulating the future direction of the Charitable Fund, putting some flesh on the bones of the principle of “Transforming Young Lives”.  Geoff Berridge is leading on this, and I plan to provide an update in the next GTKP newsletter.

Recent Pro Bono round Up 

Over the past few months demand has been steady but requests for mentoring support have been less in evidence lately. As ever we thank the ProBono Committee and every one of our Volunteers for the time and expertise that they give to the NonProfit Sector and the support they give each other. The following highlights several of our recent and current pro bono assignments:

  • Jim Foster is helping the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education to identify their IS needs, both their admin support and website, an exercise much like that WCoMC undertook over ten years ago. CCPE is both a charity that provides counselling and psychotherapy services to those in need and an education body that runs a range of accredited professional counselling and psychotherapy training programmes. Their IS needs are as complex as a university school ....
  • Steve Mayhew is helping Wandsworth Oasis Trading to develop their Retail/Charity strategy. This is a local charity raising money for people living with HIV, largely through its nine charity shops in and around the Borough. The shops have quite noticably different stock than "average" charity shops, with a large number of one-off items, often "designer" clothing that has high value. Their challenge is whether to grow and if so how.
  • On the mentoring side of things, David Jefferson is providing mentoring support to the Chief Executive of International Food Info Service, a not-for-profit academic publishing organisation and one of the leading international providers of high-quality information in the sciences of food and health.
  • Nanette Young has been mentoring Food Bank Aid, a grassroots charity which is tackling the daily challenge of food poverty in North London.

Other requested are currently being assessed and scoped, and there are many continuing assignments, such as Cards for Good Causes and the Welsh Archaeological Trusts that are live and on-going. Now read on…

Pro bono Case Study - Welsh Archaeological Trusts

The Welsh Archaeological Trusts (Ymddiriedolaethau Archaeolegol Cymru) are four archaeological organisations established in the mid-1970s to respond to rescue archaeology. They are independent charitable trusts which together provide a uniform regional archaeology service across Wales, working closely with Welsh Government and local authorities. Liveryman Tom Jenkins has been busy since September 2021 supporting the Trusts in what amounts to a “merger”.   Tom has been supported by prospective member Mark Collins (who we expect to join soon) and by Patrick Chapman. 

Tom reports progress: 
In 1972 the Welsh Government created 4 independent charitable trusts with a primary aim of educating the Welsh public about archaeology. In the recent past the Trusts have been discussing amongst themselves several potential organisational changes but were finding it difficult to reach an agreed conclusion. The Company was invited last August to carry out a review and recommend a suitable organisational model which would improve their long-term viability.
Summary and timeline of the project to date:
September to December 2021
We visited all four Trusts, reviewed a range of working papers prepared by the Trusts in the recent past and met with relevant Welsh Government officials.
In December we held a workshop for the 4 Trusts chairs and CEOs where we presented our findings which concluded that the best long-term option would be to merge into a single Welsh Trust. This conclusion was accepted in principle to enable further work to be carried out to assess the practicalities of such a merger.
January to March 2022
We designed an outline organisational model for the proposed integrated Trust and created a governance model necessary to manage the transition from four Trusts to a single integrated Trust. This involved setting up a Transition Strategy Group and a Transition Management Group comprising the four Trust CEOs . We act as advisers to both groups.  At the end of March an agreement in principle was reached to continue with the transition process subject to votes by each of the individual Trusts later in the Summer to agree finally to create the new integrated Trust .
April to date
We continue to act as advisers to the Transition Strategy Group and the Transition Management Group. In addition we recommended the creation of a Shadow Board for the new merged Trust which now exists, and we are advisers to it. During May we have facilitated 2 one day Vision and Strategy workshops, one for Trustees and one for Staff . We are now in the process of drafting a Vision and Strategy for the proposed organisation which will be presented by us for review and stress testing at meetings with the Shadow Board and the Trusts' CEOs later this month.
The Transition plan at present will have a final decision on the merger by September 2022 with a view to the new Trust being operational on 1 April 2023. It is expected that we will remain involved until then.

YBI Update

John Corneille reports:  Our work for YBI on the accreditation of their members overseas continues. Since the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, these accreditation reviews are now undertaken remotely by one of our assessors and are based on the scrutiny of documentation provided by the member supplemented by remote interviews with key stakeholders via Zoom.  The assessor then makes a recommendation to the YBI Accreditation Committee on whether the member should be accredited. The Accreditation Committee meets quarterly, and the Company is represented at its meetings by John Corneille.

Last quarter we were scheduled to undertake three reviews involving the YBI member in Russia and two of its new members in Kenya, CAP YEI and Somo. However, the Russian review, which was scheduled to be undertaken by Malcolm Green, was postponed because of the situation in Ukraine. The two Kenyan reviews were undertaken by John Corneille, and the recommendation that both be fully accredited accepted by the Accreditation Committee in April.
This quarter three more reviews are in train. John Pulford is undertaking a review of a third new YBI member in Kenya called Sinapis. A review of the YBI member in Paraguay is being carried out by Gia Campari. As with many of the reviews in South America it is necessary for assessor to carry out the work in Spanish and, as we have done for many years, we have been able to take advantage of Gia’s linguistic skills. The third review is of the YBI member in France and is being undertaken by Jo Mann supported by Valentina Lorenzon. This will be Valentina’s first YBI assessment and, as part of her induction to YBI, she will be working alongside Jo, one of our experienced assessors. This review is required to be undertaken in French and it again says much for the skills of our members that we have managed to field a team with the required linguistic abilities.  

Pan Livery Working Group on Pro Bono 

Following the Pan Livery Conference on “Shared Philanthropic Endeavour” held in October 2021, Bob Harris organised a planning meeting with representatives of six Livery Companies to discuss how pro bono activities across the livery might be enhanced. This led to the establishment of a Pan Livery Pro Bono Interest Group. The first in-person meeting of the Group was held on 28th March with 24 attendees from 18 Companies.  The second event was held on 26th May – with a similar level of attendance.  Four Companies, including ours, gave short presentations on how each went about identifying and matching suitable pro bono volunteers with volunteering opportunities. There was plenty of commonality but also plenty of scope for learning from each other:   
We heard from the Marketors whose process seemed to have quite a lot in common with our own but with slightly different terminology. They vet the Charites asking for their help, much as our Charitable Fund would. Patrick Chapman gave a crisp summary of our own internal processes which I will not repeat here. The Information Technologists presented their approach which focused on the use of a “free to use” CRM system to track pro bono opportunities and match them with volunteers. I went away thinking that we could do something similar with our Civi CRM system which has been on the cards and is, according to Patrick Chapman, under development. Watch this space. The Guild of HR professionals also provided some insights and demonstrated how quickly they have been able to set up an operation from a standing start during the pandemic.

The overall tone of the event was one of continuing collaboration and all present enjoyed a glass of wine and a cold buffet at the WCIT Hall afterwards. Over the two events, I understand that there have been participants from 30 Livery Companies and Guilds, including several long-established Companies as well as those whose members are drawn from the modern professions. It seems that this Pan Livery initiative “has legs” and thanks are due to Bob for his energy in getting it moving.

Charitable Giving by Livery Companies

Sticking with Bob - a report on the latest survey of Charitable Giving has recently been published.  An initial survey of charitable giving by Livery Companies was undertaken in 2018, followed by a second more detailed survey in 2020. A report on the findings from the third such survey – launched in September 2021 and analysed in early 2022 is now available. It incorporates data from the most recent year for which each Livery Company had firm information, typically for financial years ending during 2021, thus covering a period that was heavily impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.  There’s only room for one headline here and that is the aggregate financial support reported by Livery Companies increased by 4.4% over the 2020 figure to £75m – and a cumulative increase of 12% over the past three years. This was during a period when the pandemic had two contrasting effects: on the one hand a general reduction in charitable fund investment returns, and on the other hand additional funding provided to help meet urgent needs arising from Covid. 

Bob tells me that extracting the data from Livery Companies has been particularly arduous this time around and it is to his credit that a coherent report has been possible at all.
Bob himself will be stepping back from his role as Chair of the Events Committee at the end of September this year but he will continue to focus his efforts on Pan Livery activities. This seems like an appropriate time to recognise Bob's tireless efforts and contribution – both practical and helping to raise our Company’s profile.

Pro Bono Workshop - Improving Charity Performance and Sustainablility

The pro bono committee have been keen to reactivate in person pro bono workshops and the first in a revitalised series was held in March. This has already been reported in the Company Newsletter but I make no apology for repeating it here. Further workshops are under development and are likely to include one on Charity Mergers, building on the Welsh experience reported above

Here’s Patrick’s report:
Many of our members support charities and their staff and trustees through our ProBono Consultancy and Mentoring programme or through their own role as trustees or volunteers. We frequently find that these charities have common challenges in building an appropriate resilient management infrastructure and ensuring long-term financial sustainability. The ProBono Committee arranged this workshop to shed light on these challenges by inviting two experts in this field to share their knowledge with us, and therefore to help us enhance our own support.
Beth Clarke has been a trustee and employee at several charities, and recently led a programme at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) aimed at helping small charities develop their resilience to ensure their long-term survival and the continuation of the vital services that they provide. Through "CAF Resilience" ten small to medium sized charities across the UK received grant funding and bespoke advice and training. CAF has recently released the final report from this Resilience Programme that shares the insights and learnings gained, including recommendations to funders. Beth presented these findings and the plans for the next phase of the resilience programme.
Ian McLintock has been a volunteer for 40+ years and has held various Chair and CEO appointments over the last 25 years. He built and personally funded the free Charity Excellence Framework online toolkit. The website was launched in 2018 and now has over 23,000 member charities, nearly half of whom rate it 10/10. It acts as a digital mentor, tapping into the collective expertise of the sector by connecting member charities to a huge range of free support and has created Big Data for the sector. Ian explained how the CEF can support our ProBono clients and offer insights into what it tells us about the challenges they are likely to face today. He also outlined the even more ambitious strategic development phase for CEF, which has recently registered as a Charity. Our own Jo Mann, who is now a member of the ProBono Committee, also gave us her early experiences of becoming a Trustee of the CEF Charity.
Overall it was an interesting and challenging meeting, topped and tailed by a glass or two of networking. Our thanks to both our guest speakers and all the attendees who made it a very worthwhile evening.

Kent Sharpshooter and Yeomanry Museum

And finally, an advert – just in time but worth doing, nevertheless.  It relates to a diversity day on 11th June at the Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry Museum, a charity where our First Warden Chris Sutton is Chair of Trustees. More information here: Discover more about the museum here.  

Charities Supper - more photos

Really finally, the Company Newsletter only affords a certain amount of space for pictures on any one item, so I thought this was a good opportunity to include a few more from the charity supper even though many months old.

If you spot a picture that you like would like the original of, please drop me a line and I'll do my best to get it to you. 

No promises about the next issue after the last long gap! 

Steve Cant


This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).