Woodford IM partners funding Charity Futures Programme

Financial backing for the Sir Stephen Bubb-led Charity Futures Programme is being provided by the partners of Woodford Investment Management, it has been revealed.

The project is initially being funded by a contribution of £400,000 over two years. Bubb has stepped down as chief executive of Acevo to carry out the work. It aims to improve the effectiveness of charities, including through lifting standards of leadership and governance.

Woodford Investment Management is the firm founded in 2014 by Neil Woodford after over 25 years at Invesco Perpetual.

Jonathan Smith, head of corporate social responsibility at Woodford, spoke at the Charity Futures Programme’s launch event at the House of Lords yesterday.

Attendees at the launch, which also served as a celebration of Bubb’s time at the helm of Acevo, heard that through his role Smith’s dealings with charities gave him the view that there needed to be greater focus on sustainability and how charities are run.

Smith said he approached Bubb after hearing him on Radio 4’s Today programme after the collapse of Kids Company. Bubb was was making the case for stronger charity governance and for donors to think about sustainability and not just the next project.

“We believe that this is very, very important work,” Smith said. “We’ve said to Stephen ‘let’s have a look at this over two years’, but this is a 50-year play. This is not a 5 minute wham bang event. I think that the sort of change that we will be looking for is small scale, incremental, continuous, and meaningful; because if ever we needed it we need it now.”

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