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Charitable foundation to receive $2m ‘match’ donation

Third pillar: Tinée Furbert, the Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors, speaks with guests at the Bermuda Foundation’s recent tenth-anniversary reception (Photograph supplied)

An anonymous donor is giving up to $2 million to a charitable foundation.

The source has said that they will mirror any donations made to the Bermuda Foundation to mark its tenth anniversary.

Known as a “match donation”, the gift will be given, dollar-for-dollar, as funds are received from other donors to the foundation’s endowment fund.

Myra Virgil, the managing director of the foundation, said: “Essentially, all funds received over the next few months will be doubled by a matching donation from our anonymous donor.

“Every dollar given becomes $2, every $1,000 becomes $2,000. We are particularly grateful for this offer because it addresses the sustainability of our decade-old organisation.

“Our purpose depends on being here for the non-profit sector in perpetuity.”

Dr Virgil said that the gift demonstrates confidence in the work of the foundation.

She said: “Ten years ago, the Bermuda Foundation was a dream being discussed by a handful of leaders in the philanthropy field.

“A decade later, it has disbursed more than $21 million in grants to local organisations and currently manages more than $24 million in assets.

“None of this would have been possible without the initial significant support of The Atlantic Philanthropies, RenaissanceRe, Buchanan Charitable Fund, Alan & Gill Gray Philanthropies, and Bridge Charitable Trust.

“We have also received contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Axa XL, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and the Foundation for a Just Society International. PwC, for example, conducted our audit pro bono at first, and today provide their services at a much reduced rate.

“Rounding out the community assets, numerous individuals and families have set up legacy funds to support the work of non-profit organisations in Bermuda.

“They live or have lived in the community; in many cases they have a good life and want to share their success with those who need help and support.”

The foundation is one of 2,141 community foundations worldwide and was set up to address long-term community challenges as well as immediate needs.

As a community’s needs change, community foundations are designed to adapt and direct funds towards that need. In addition, they can also act as a co-ordinating hub.

Dr Virgil said: “At times a community need is greater than can be addressed by any one organisation or sector, and a connected, collaborative effort is the only way to create a solution. The pandemic was a prime example.”

Amanda Outerbridge, chairwoman of the foundation’s board, said that non-profits had traditionally existed “hand to mouth”, typically running out of funds by the end of each financial year.

She said: “This approach is no longer workable for two reasons — the non-profit sector has become crucial to the functioning of the community, and there is less funding available in our post-pandemic world.”

Dr Virgil added: “Our long-term dream is to replace the annual funding of $6 million that was lost to the sector with the closure of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

“It’s an immensely ambitious goal but reaching it will enable our grant-making to cover a meaningful portion of non-profit budgets, freeing them up to focus on mission-critical activities.

“This is what tackling the problem of sector sustainability can look like.”

• For more information on the Bermuda Foundation, click here or e-mail admin@bermudafoundation.org

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Published May 03, 2024 at 12:00 pm (Updated May 03, 2024 at 11:38 am)

Charitable foundation to receive $2m ‘match’ donation

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