One of Northern Ireland’s top female executives has set up a charitable foundation to inspire children to build a better society.
Sandara Kelso-Robb from Newtownabbey, Executive Director of Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland, is turning a dream into a reality as she launches the Hope for More Foundation with the aim of encouraging children and young people to embrace the concept of giving by funding initiatives and activities that will bring them closer to giving opportunities.
By starting small, these future donors will learn about the needs of society and how they can make a modest contribution. It’s about understanding the building blocks – the ‘who, what, why, when and where’ of giving.
“I feel passionately that you can really make a difference to society if you focus on the children. If you learn as a child that you should be involved in charitable giving, it becomes a normal part of your life. I came from a working class family that had little money but we were always taught to give what we could and to help others.
“It’s something I’ve carried on with my own daughter and she will one day take over The Hope for More Foundation. The idea is to take this to the next level by extending outside the home to promote an understanding of the importance of giving to children within the wider community,” Sandara explained.
Charitable giving has certainly become a way of life for the Straid woman – not only is she Executive Director of Lloyds Bank Foundation for NI which funds hundreds of charities each year, but she is also Strategic Advisor to Giving Northern Ireland, an organisation that promotes philanthropic giving on a strategic level and also a founder member of Give Inc, Northern Ireland’s first giving circle.
With this depth of knowledge, she felt that the best way for her to make a difference was to set up the Hope for More Foundation and to have it administrated by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, which will help look after the fund and carry out due diligence in advance of any donations directed by Sandara.
In addition, by setting up a foundation in this way, her initial investment in the fund is being matched by the Pears Foundation, meaning she has doubled the funds available to recipients.
“The Community Foundation manages a number of donor directed funds like this and it’s something we’d really encourage anyone to consider. Establishing a fund within the Community Foundation gives you complete control over your giving and is attractive if you are a taxpayer as it is eligible for gift aid; we currently still have matching funding available,” explained Eamonn Donaghy, Communications and Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation.
“We are delighted to be working with Sandara. So many people keep their charitable giving private but we encouraged her to let people know to help inspire others to consider this option,” he added.
Setting up the foundation has been Sandara’s dream for many years.
“Helping others is in my DNA now and I really enjoy seeing the direct impact of giving and how you can help people and change lives. I get so much personal enjoyment from giving and sharing with others, I can’t imagine a life without it,” she said.
For more information about the Hope for More Foundation visit the Community Foundation’s website, www.communityfoundationni.org