Global Excellence Awards 2020 Page 19 LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards Bermuda Community Foundation Creating Legacies and Managing Crisis: This is What Community Philanthropy Looks Like Nov20475 Beneath Bermuda’s glamorous image and bustling financial services sector exists an ecosystem of vulnerability and need. While Bermuda punches well above its weight in so many ways, its natural resources are limited to three key attributes: an agreeable sub-tropical climate, friendly population and magnificent beaches. Its economy is therefore dependent on external revenue sources. Unsurprisingly, the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis on Bermuda was dramatic and given its isolation – some 700 miles from the closest point of land – recovery has inevitably been slow. In a weakened economy, Bermuda’s nonprofit sector developed into a major provider of essential human services, educational support, the arts, sport and environmental conservation. In effect, the sector became too important to fail. In response, extensive research was funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies resulting in the creation of Bermuda’s community foundation in 2014. The Bermuda Foundation’s mandate was to build an enduring source of funds for the third sector. Today it enables private and corporate donors to target their philanthropy where it is most needed and effective, backed by hard data. Adoption of the “Vital Signs” programme has most notably provided donors with the benefit of key community performance indicators. The creation of the Bermuda Foundation also gave newcomers to the philanthropic arena access to a vehicle for giving and the information to do it effectively. The Foundation was always intended to add to Bermuda’s already vibrant culture of philanthropy by expanding funding resources and providing a service for those needing guidance on giving for solid, long-term benefit. Still in its infancy at six years old, the Foundation has exceeded expectations by achieving rigorous accreditation, a wealth of information on need in the community and the nonprofit sector and developing an effectiveness measurement methodology as well as building online platforms for the benefit of nonprofits and donors. Almost 70 funds have been established, and in 2020 the Foundation distributed $3 million in grants, from individual, family, corporate and private foundation donors. During the COVID-19 crisis the Foundation took on the crucial role of managing the national Emergency Fund, the Nonprofit Stabilisation Fund, and the ongoing Hardship Fund. It also oversees the Social Equity Fund designed to address that other pandemic: the legacy of inequity, racial disparity and exclusion. Behind many of the community foundation’s donor-advised funds are stories demonstrating deep affection for Bermuda and its people. Take Charles Marshall, MBE, JP, former Senator, and an esteemed and beloved member of the Bermuda community. Now in his 80s, he left school at the age of 16 and became an apprentice at the Bermuda Electric Light Company. His passion in life was sport - particularly soccer- and he became a respected referee and leading light in soccer’s governing body. Along the way, Charlie (as everyone calls him) and his wife Lesley built up successful businesses in electrical contracting, communications and electronics. Charlie recalls how, some 30 years ago, Bermuda came as close as it had ever been to participating in soccer’s prestigious international tournament, the World Cup. But instead, without funds and in deep debt, Bermuda found itself facing a five-year ban from international competition. There and then, Charlie resolved that if he ever had the means, he would set up a fund to assist players to reach their full potential and Bermuda to achieve its best on the world stage. True to his word, the Marshalls invested $1 million in the Charles E. and Lesley Marshall Fund for Football, managed today by the Bermuda Foundation. He leveraged his success to benefit the community: pure philanthropy. Then there’s Roland Skinner, a gifted photographer with a passion for his homeland. As the eldest of seven siblings, Roland left school early to assist with family finances by working as a mailboy. He self-studied photography, honed his craft in the darkroom, and became a skilled photographer in the public sector before setting up his own studio and online business. Roland died in 2018 at the age of 78, but his work lives on and books featuring his stunning Bermuda images remain big sellers. To honour his legacy, Roland’s daughters and grandchildren set up the Roland Skinner Memorial Fund for Bermudian Visual Arts, celebrating Roland’s passion for photography and Bermuda, and his belief in arts education as a path to success. Funds generated by sales of his books and images online (https:// ) are directed towards talented Bermudians. These are just two of the heart-warming narratives behind donor funds at the Bermuda Foundation. The range of need in Bermuda has made the Foundation’s formative years interesting and challenging. Acknowledgement of its early success in the form of superior accreditation and local and international awards are humbling and gratifying. The Bermuda Foundation continues to develop its legacy programmes to benefit this small community; they’re in it for good. Charles E and Lesley Marshall Image by Roland Skinner Roland Skinner and daughter Lisa Robinson