VONNE has joined the Community Wealth Fund alliance, a group of voluntary sector organisations, independent funders and sector initiatives that are supporting the call for a new multi-billion pound national endowment to support deprived communities.
The Community Wealth Fund (CWF) would support the communities who need it most. Investments from the Fund would be guided by the following principles: funding should be long term (10-15 years); the funds should be invested at the hyper-local level (communities of C.3,000-10,000 residents); spending decisions should be made by residents and driven by the needs of the local community. The CWF would increase economic and social capital within deprived areas whilst giving power back to individuals within communities that have felt disenfranchised for many years.
Significant funding is necessary to properly develop the CWF. The CWFA have identified the next wave of dormant assets as one source of these funds. Dormant assets from insurance and pension policies, bonds, stocks and shares are estimated to be worth almost £2bn by the Dormant Assets Commission. The government is currently working with the financial service industry to release these funds for “good causes”. There is an opportunity to match the dormant assets money with investment from the private sector, creating a £4bn endowment.
The Community Wealth Fund Alliance’s proposal is for an ambitious and radical partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors and the Government aiming to transform place-based funding in Britain and make sure that the country’s wealth is more equally distributed.
Impact to date
The CWFA has begun by reaching out for support from the voluntary sector. We now have over 100 member organisations.
We have recently started to gather support from public and private sector organisations, as well as broadening our campaign to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We have set ourselves the target of getting 350 member organisations by the end of 2019, with 10% of these coming from the private and public sectors.
Additionally, the Alliance has begun a programme designed to influence politicians across Westminster. Our aim is to influence the Government’s next Spending Review so that they commit to investing the next wave of dormant assets into a CWF. We are approaching politicians across the political divide to gain their support for the proposal.