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Shine a Light Report Highlights the Importance of Community Foundations in the UK


  • Two fifths of adults in London and South East give to local causes but would do more if it were easier to donate to their community.
  • Being more involved in community has seen one in seven (13.9%) in London and South East increase the amount they give to local causes in the past two years
  • UK Community Foundations launches campaign to raise an additional £1 billion of new funding for local communities across the UK by 2020

According to the Shine A Light report published yesterday by UK Community Foundations, the charitable network that distributes funds to local causes, supporting local communities is important and people want to do more. More than four in ten (40.4%) people in London and South East say their community is important to their sense of belonging and 34.5% want to help others. Just under half (42%) already give money to local causes. However, over half (53.7%) would contribute more to their local community if the process was easier and they were able to see the direct impact of their donation.

When it comes to tackling issues that affect local communities, Shine A Light found that giving locally is thought to be twice as effective as giving to national or international causes. Although local councils and government were seen to have the most responsibility for the big issues that matter to a community, 13.5% thought it was down to ‘me and people like me’. This was over 11 times as many people who thought local business had a role to play (1.2%).

Research found that the community’s which people in London and South East identify themselves as belonging to include where they live (64.7%) and where they work (57.6%), while 12.2% say it exists online with people they share hobbies with. When it comes to what people get by being a part of a community three quarters (76.8%) say it provides friendship, while just under half (46.5%) said it gives them the support they need and a sense of belonging (40.8%). One in four (22.6%) say that being a part of a community gives them the chance to help others.

Francis Salway, Chair of The London Community Foundation, said: “The Shine A Light report shows that our local communities are vital to our collective sense of wellbeing. It brings to life what we at The London Community Foundation see at first hand – that people want to give back locally to the communities they live and work in. This is why we’re calling for people to get involved with local community foundations across the UK and help us reach our national target of raising an additional £1billion of new funding for local communities across the UK by 2020.”

The Shine A Light reports reveals that people have increased their involvement in their local communities in the last two years. More than half of people (54%) say they know more people, and more than a quarter (26%) say they spend more time in their community, than they did two years ago. Two in five (39%) say they spend more money locally while a quarter (26%) give more time and 14% give more money. 

UK Community Foundations is the membership organisation for the 48 independent community foundations that work across the UK to raise then distribute money directly to local causes.  Last year, community foundations made over 20,000 grants, distributing over £62 million to local causes.

Published on 06 December 2013

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