Established in 1988, the then Tyne & Wear Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the UK. Initially funded by the Baring Foundation and local trusts, the Community Foundation grew through a series of fund transfers and private donations.
A milestone was reached when the endowment reached £3m through the CAF/Mott Foundation Challenge. The area of benefit was then extended into Northumberland and the current name adopted.
Major developments include managing grants for the Henry Smith Charity, the establishment of the Readman Foundation with a gift of £1.5m from Guy and Margaret Readman, and the receipt of a legacy from the Kellett family of £5m for work with older people. As a result, by 1998, the Community Foundation had built a £10m endowment.
In the early 2000s, the Community Foundation came to manage a number of large corporate funds and was asked to hold and develop the endowment fund for the new music centre in Gateshead – which became The Sage.
It also managed some government programmes and explored its leadership role through initiatives on men’s health, youth homelessness, social capital and a campaign on the loss of voluntary sector funding through the demise of regeneration programmes.
To find out more about us, you can download a copy of Inspire, a publication produced in 2008 to celebrate our 20th anniversary here.
You can also download the report The First 20 Years which is about the lessons learned from our first two decades here.