NI Community Foundation increases grants by £1 million

first_imgNI Community Foundation increases grants by £1 million About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Howard Lake | 5 September 2014 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Finance Funding Northern Ireland The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s grant giving was up over £1 million in 2013, according to its latest annual accounts.Grant income was £4.6 million last year compared to £3.6 million the year before. The increase in grants was despite a significant drop in voluntary income which fell to £133,000 from £337,000.Most of the Foundation’s grant income comes from various funds it administers on behalf of such organisations as the EU Peace Programme and Atlantic Philanthropies. ‘Funds received’ increased from £4.6 million to £7.1 million which included additional funding from the EU, Atlantic Philanthropies and nearly £790,000 from the Community Relations Council for ‘interim funding.’The Foundation administers grants for a number of private sector companies in the banking and energy sectors. Other grants are also distributed on behalf of Comic Relief and the lottery funded Building Change Trust.The Foundation’s own funds provide grants to community organisations throughout Northern Ireland, ranging from several hundred pounds to £10,000.The accounts also record an ‘exceptional item’ of £4.6 million which the Foundation transferred from its endowment to cover a pension liability. As a result, the Foundation’s capital endowment declined from £14.4 million to £9.8 million.The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland has 44 staff, including three working on fundraising.  24 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Asda axes in-store scratch baking putting 1,200 jobs at risk

first_imgSource: AsdaAsda has revealed plans to axe scratch baking in its in-store bakeries in a move which could put 1,200 jobs at risk.Instead, it is proposing to introduce an ambient bakery model, using a centralised bakery to deliver a wide range of pre-baked goods to stores each day.As a result, the retailer is entering into formal consultation with 1,200 bakery staff across 341 stores who are potentially impacted by the changes. However, it said if these proposals come to fruition it will look to move as many as possible to alternative roles with redundancy ‘the last option’. It added that no bakeries will be closed as part of the move.The proposal, Asda said, follows a ‘notable shift’ in customer buying behaviours in recent years with demand for speciality breads, wraps, bagels and pancakes outstripping traditional loaves.The switch to a new model would allow Asda to broaden the range of bakery products it offered, while baking fresh products several times a day compared to just once a day at present.Two years ago, Tesco made similar moves as part of a major overhaul of its fresh food offering. Its in-store bakery shake-up put more than 1,800 jobs at risk and saw scratch baking replaced or reduced in many stores with an increased focus on bake-off products.“The current in-store bakery model has restricted our ability to respond to changing customer demands and offer them the speciality products and freshly baked goods they want to buy throughout the day,” said Asda chief marketing officer Derek Lawlor.“The changes we are proposing will deliver a much better and more consistent bakery offering for customers across all our stores. We know these proposed changes will be unsettling for colleagues and our priority is to support them during this process.”last_img read more

CEO confronts gender in global consumer economy

first_imgThe Mendoza College of Business and the University’s gender studies program hosted Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,” on Thursday to discuss women’s role in business.Brennan’s lecture, “Top Trends in Marketing and Selling to Women,” began by explaining the growth trends in the marketplace. She addressed the fact that nations like Brazil, China and India tend to be labeled as the greatest growth markets, but she emphasized that the commonly unmentioned female market is especially large.“Women are now considered to be one of the world’s largest emerging growth markets because of women’s increased economic participation, educational levels and political participation,” Brennan said.This increased female presence in the market has resulted in the creation of programs targeting women by major companies, she said. Brennan said companies like Under Armour, Levi’s and Harley-Davidson are developing these types of programs with the hope of increasing their brand by including women.“Women are the engine of the consumer economy, driving between 70 and 80 percent of all consumer purchases,” she said.The domination of women in the marketplace can attributed to two factors: buying power and influence, Brennan said. An increased percentage of women with a higher education has increased their earning power and contributes to their buying power, she said.“Influence means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something with her own money … she is typically the influencer or veto vote behind somebody else’s purchase,” Brennan said.Additionally, Brennan aimed to counter the stereotypes surrounding women and shopping. As opposed to the misconceptions that women only care about shopping for shoes or handbags, she explained that women’s spending habits serve a greater purpose.“The reason women are so responsible for consumer spending is because, in virtually every society in the world, women have primary caregiving responsibilities for both children and the elderly — and just about everyone in between,” Brennan said.Such a culture has led to a “multiplier effect,” Brennan said. Because women tend to be responsible for purchasing things for the important people in their lives, they influence the market for even items like men’s athletic apparel, she said.As a result, Brennan’s work at Female Factor has focused on identifying and monitoring women’s trends in the market. The first major trend Brennan said she saw was the large percentage of women in today’s labor force.Because 70 percent of women with children under the age of 18 are a part of the labor force, today’s business must accommodate for time limitations on women’s shopping, Brennan said. Operational hour changes and convenience-focused business models are ways in which companies can address time needs.“With less time, there’s a demand for services, not just products,” Brennan said.Similarly, Brennan has also observed trends relating to the delayed marriages of today’s women. Because women tend to wait until the age of 27 to get married and because they are more active in the labor force, they are more likely to have the desire and means to purchase things before marriage.Brennan said the delayed marriages also have an effect on family formation that influences the market. For example, women married later in life tend to have kids at a later time, and because they are older, they are more entrenched in their personal brand and impose this brand on their kids.“Many brands are finding that they have an opportunity to either age up or age down the spectrum because there is a broader embracing of brands across the age spectrum,” Brennan said.A variety of additional trends led by the female market, such as social media and fitness trends, have highlighted the increased role of female empowerment in advertising, Brennan said.“It is positive to see that strength and femininity is being positioned as something powerful in the marketplace,” she said.Tags: business, gender, market, women, women in the labor forcelast_img read more

Invensys pension fund moves to surplus after sponsor sale, takeover

first_imgAfter the takeover, the trustees of the fund negotiated a guarantee from new sponsor Schneider Electric to cover liabilities of as much as £1.75bn, with the reservoir fund split between the two.In the scheme’s annual report, chairman Kathleen O’Donavan said the guarantee meant the financial security of the fund was materially better than at any point in recent years.“The trustee will continue to review the strength of the covenant the company provides,” she said.“In light of the £1.75bn guarantee, the trustee will now also assess the improved security afforded to the scheme through the strength of the wider Schneider Electric group.”The new sponsor will not grant the scheme any additional contributions other than those for active members.This, however, will be reviewed in March next year.Due to the cash injection and reservoir contribution, the fund’s value increased by £208m despite being cash-flow negative.Two-thirds of the fund’s 78,000 members are pensioners, with only 385 active members.Some 54% of assets is invested in BlackRock’s liability-driven investment (LDI) fund, which lost 4.9% over the year, outperforming its benchmark by 1.3 percentage points.Through its BlackRock mandate and other investments, the pension fund holds 42% of its assets in index-linked UK Gilts and 17% in fixed-rate Gilts.It holds 25% in corporate bonds, where managers AXA IM, M&G Investments and GLG all outperformed their respective benchmarks.Its 3%, £131m passive allocation to equities held by Legal & General Investment Management produced a 15.2% return – nearly 11 percentage points above benchmark.However, overall returns remained negative due to the impact of rising Gilt yields on LDI strategies, which account for the lion’s share of its holdings. O’Donavan said the Invensys scheme still outperformed its benchmark by 2.5 percentage points.“The strategic target took into account the impact of changing Gilt yields,” she said.“The scheme’s strategic target was -3.4%. “The fact the assets outperformed expectations over the year helped to improve the funding position of the scheme and the security of members’ benefits.” The £4.7bn (€5.7bn) Invensys Pension Scheme has seen its £445m deficit disappear after changes in the ownership structure at its sponsoring company.The fund, which made an investment loss of 0.9% over the year to April, received a £400m cash injection last year after its sponsor, Invensys, sold its rail business to German conglomerate Siemens.The fund now boasts a £121m surplus, according its latest annual report.Earlier this year, Invensys itself was sold to Schneider Electric, which renegotiated the scheme’s covenant and an additional £105m injection after the dissolution of a £225m reservoir fund.last_img read more