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Charities and Voluntary Sector: Funding

Volume 623: debated on Thursday 16 March 2017

6. What steps her Department is taking to increase the number of funding sources available for charities and voluntary organisations. (909289)

I have been reforming the charities sector and widening its strength and depth as part of a long-term plan. There are a number of sources of finance. Most recently, the Dormant Assets Commission has reported that there might be up to £2 billion of additional dormant assets, which could be transformational for the sector.

I am grateful to the Minister for his reply. In Suffolk, the Community First Endowment Match Challenge was extremely successful in leveraging local donations for grassroots causes, with private giving matched to almost three times the initial donation. Will the Minister meet me and the Suffolk Community Foundation to discuss how such an endowment challenge might be reintroduced?

I am very pleased to hear about the Suffolk foundation’s success. The Community First Endowment Match Challenge raised a permanent endowment of £130 million, which has provided £5.8 million in grants to local groups up to the end of 2015. It will continue to support local community groups and projects across England in the future. There are no plans to expand this programme in the current Parliament, but I am happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss this further and, in due course, to see whether we can consider how dormant assets are spent.