Exeter Foundation Reaches £2m Milestone During Toughest Fundraising Year to Date

The Exeter Chiefs Foundation is celebrating after reaching a £2m fundraising milestone.  It’s a fitting achievement for the charity, which is ten years old in 2021.

Prior to games going behind closed doors last season, £43,799 had been donated through car park donations on match day and bucket collections at the Sandy Park stadium.  This money has been shared out between 19 ‘designated charities’ who are chosen by the trustees annually.

In normal circumstances, this list is reviewed each year but, because of the devastating effect of the pandemic, it has been agreed that the 2019/20 season beneficiaries will rolled over into 2020/21.

The 19 charities are: Action For Children, Age UK, Dream A Way, ELF, Exeter Athletic Rugby, Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, Exeter Lions Clubs, Exeter Sands, Families for Children, Force, It's in the Bag Cancer Support, Jays Aim, Pete's Dragons, Royal Marines Charity, See the Future, Surf Life Saving, The Calvert Trust Exmoor, Vranch House, Wooden Spoon Devon.

The Exeter Chiefs Foundation is a charity that exists with the sole aim of helping other charities.  As well as the ‘designated’ match day cash, there is a pot of undesignated money which comes from individual, group and business donations and which can be applied for by any charitable organisation in the greater Exeter area.  All of the money raised is donated to worthy causes in and around the city with a focus on supporting ‘tangible’ investments.  These have included funding building and renovation works, the installation of play equipment, and assistance with buying a large number of vehicles, ranging from minibuses to a boat for the Topsham Sea Scout Group.

Founded by Exeter Chiefs Chairman Tony Rowe OBE, the team of trustees is drawn from the club’s board of directors and the business community.

Trustee Michael Caines MBE said: “Although we have raised £2m since we launched in 2011 and despite a cash injection of £350,000 (the club’s share of a fine imposed on Saracens following a breach of the salary cap regulations) we have seen donations dip.

“We’ve also noticed that whereas before the pandemic, the majority of applications for money would have been for relatively modest amounts, the charity is now being asked to help fund large-scale projects.

“And that means the decisions we make in terms of agreeing donations are getting harder each month.

“All charities are having a tough time at the moment and so it’s more important than ever to show any support you are able to.”

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