How to Give Money Away – Well

Our speaker at the Monthly Meeting in February was Stewart Goshawk, CEO of the Wembley National Stadium Trust. With a background in voluntary sector finance and sport, Stewart had a most interesting story to tell.

In his career to date, he has given away some £400m, and what he has given has been given well, even though doing so is far from easy. In the general state of giving however, £400m is not as much as it may seem. There are some 8,000 trusts giving away some £8,000m each year. The problem is always choosing what to give, and to whom, so that the funds yield real benefit. Stewart also had advice for those applying for funds and explained the process of deciding what to support.

Stewart spoke about the trusts where he has had involvement, and provided details on the London Emergency Trust (set up in response to attacks on citizens in London including the tube bombings), the London Fire Relief Fund (set up in response to the Grenfell fire), and some of the problems of providing support to children when there are no responsible adults left.

Stewart then explained how the Wembley National Stadium Trust operates, and from where it receives its income, and how that is used. Stewart was brought in to manage the Trust’s finances and oversee the more than 30 projects that are funded each year.

The main emphasis is on sporting groups in the local communities, and Stewart had photos of children and adults enjoying sporting activities in Brent and further afield. One of the most memorable was a soccer team of amputees, and in their league final, one team member had managed a bicycle kick over his own shoulder, supported only by his crutches!

This was a really memorable talk, and Stewart’s energy and enthusiasm came over well and was enjoyed by all those in attendance.

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