‘As we progressed, we brought in our own people, who had experience in setting up foundations and charities, but frankly it was the blind leading the blind to begin with’ says Amy Winehouse’s father of his experience of setting up a foundation.
Less than two months after the tragic death of Amy Winehouse on 23 July 2011, her family launched a foundation in her memory. With no previous experience of grantmaking and an initially hazy idea of what running a foundation involved, Amy’s father Mitch became chairman of the board of trustees.
In a recent interview with Winehouse, Alliance magazine asked was it like to set up a grantmaking foundation when he didn’t know the first thing about foundations. He speaks of the challenges faced when developing the foundation’s grantmaking strategy, its role in relation to government spending and whether it expanded overseas too quickly.
‘…Originally my idea was to make 50 £10,000 donations a year. But then you’ve got to make out 50 lots of cheques, do 50 lots of due diligence, 50 visits, 50 lots of going back to make sure everything’s okay, 50 lots of audits – it was never going to work. We do it differently now. We’ve decided as a board of trustees that we need to give larger contributions to fewer charities and projects to make a bigger impact….’
‘…It can be unfriendly, because foundations and charities have their own sponsors and understandably they want to keep them to themselves. We know that fundraising right now is very difficult. We’ve had one or two experiences of the competition element. But we’ve made some very meaningful associations with other foundations…’ Read more >
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