Tower Hamlets Giving

Kyrsten Perry, Place Based Giving Manager at the East End Community Foundation talks about their plans for Tower Hamlets Giving
Background
Inspired by the work of Islington Giving, we are planning the creation of “Tower Hamlets Giving”, which we anticipate launching in 2017.  Tower Hamlets Giving will be a place-based giving fund made up of a range of donors, including businesses and residents to support community-based projects which make a positive difference to the lives of Tower Hamlets residents.  
Led by East End Community Foundation and supported by Tower Hamlets Council we are currently talking to various parties about the theme of the fund before we begin soliciting Founding Donors.  
Having facilitated our first focus group we are undertaking further research to shape the fund and consider the most pressing social issues and what we can realistically achieve in terms of positive social impact within Tower Hamlets. 
Social Issues in Tower Hamlets
Each year, EECF produces Vital Signs, a research project focusing on Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets, which examines how well the East End boroughs are performing across a range of social themes compared to London and the UK. The report is produced using local and national statistics, and by engaging with local communities through consultation. 
Data obtained through Vital Signs research has formed an essential part of the focus group process, helping us and our donors identify issues that the fund could target. Statistics reveal Tower Hamlets is London’s most deprived borough and almost 1 in every 2 children are living in poverty. The borough is among the 5 London boroughs with the worst average life expectancy and also among the 10 worst for child obesity and whilst there have been significant improvements in educational attainment over the past 20 years, rates of unemployment are above the London and Great Britain averages. 
Tower Hamlets Giving - How will it work?
Although the final programme is not yet clear it is intended that the fund will be more than a grant programme.  By being clear on the purpose of the fund and what it is trying to achieve we hope that we can make best use of our assets and the broad skills base that exists locally.
Tower Hamlets Giving will offer grants and these will be administered by the East End Community Foundation. 
Challenges
The team have plenty of knowledge and expertise in working with the voluntary sector in Tower Hamlets, the challenge is to identify the right criteria and attract the Founding Donors for the new Fund. We want to attract new donor audiences such as small to medium enterprises and local residents so raising brand awareness will be key.   We will be looking for a media partner to help raise the profile of Tower Hamlets Giving and to ensure donor and potential donors are aware of the funds impact. 
What next?
To identify the main theme that Tower Hamlets Giving will tackle.  Ideally we would like to raise 1 million pounds over 5 years and to become the recognised name for local Tower Hamlets corporates, employees, and residents who want to support local charities.
Thank you
Tower Hamlets Giving is extremely grateful to all those people who are giving their time and energy to help find the most important theme that we can effectively support in Tower Hamlets. 
How you can support Tower Hamlets Giving?
If you would like more information about Tower Hamlets Giving please contact 
Kyrsten Perry. 
Kyrsten Perry, 
Place Based Giving Manager, 
East End Community Foundation 
Phone: 0207 345 4551