SPFL Trust reveals almost £400k donation and launch of major social impact report

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) Trust has announced it has secured a third significant donation of £375,000 inclusive of gift aid.

SPFL Trust reveals almost £400k donation and launch of major social impact report

This announcement marks the launch of a major project that will independently assess the impact of community trusts and associated SPFL clubs (ATCs) in their communities.

Specialist sports evaluation consultancy Knight, Kavanagh & Page has been appointed to conduct a deep dive into the impact of ATCs. It has been tasked with building a consistent club-by-club and national dataset that will provide a clear picture of the work taking place across Scotland.

It is expected that by developing a consistent, standardised approach the SPFL Trust and ATCs will be able to:

• Prepare more robust cases for funding and partnerships
• Use the data to build theory of change modelling
• Engage in a clearer way about impact with stakeholders
• Enhance the reputation of the wider charity sector within Scottish football

In developing this approach, the SPFL Trust intends to ultimately build a methodology in future that will, going forward, demonstrate the economic and social value of its ATC network.

Today’s latest donation follows the donation from Baillie Gifford’s James Anderson in June 2020, when he gave £3,125,000 inclusive of gift aid.

Weeks later a second anonymous donor committed to make two payments of £625,000 inclusive of gift aid. The second of these donations is expected to be made this summer.

The SPFL Trust’s third donor has asked to remain anonymous as they do not wish any publicity, a request that has been acceded to.
Like the charity’s other benefactors, their reputation is exceptional and the SPFL Trust is delighted to welcome them as a supporter.

As part of the Social Impact Reporting project, community trusts who apply to participate will again be eligible for a grant of up to £10,000 to support their work. This will be the fourth such opportunity in less than six months.

Clubs with a community department (as opposed to an independent charity) will also be able to apply for a grant, restricted to support activity which directly benefits its local community. Up to £10,000 will also be available.

It is expected up to 33 charities (up from 30 in October) could participate based on current applications awaiting review from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulation (OSCR).

The total package of funding for this project will include some of the previously announced donations.

Bernadette Malone, SPFL Trust chair, said: “We’d like to thank our third, generous donor for stepping forward to support the SPFL Trust and - vitally - the extraordinary work that takes place in communities across Scotland. This funding will enable us to embark on a transformational piece of work for everyone involved in community engagement around Scottish football.

“Our COVID-19 Impact Report shone a light on some of the incredible stories behind the efforts of community trusts and associated SPFL clubs, and it has helped us develop our thinking on building sustainable capacity at ATCs.

“In the charity sector, data is absolutely vital. Used well alongside these powerful stories, it can help organisations identify need, report on success, and build models that encourage change.

“What we’ve been able to do is create a project that will provide more support to ATCs, many of whom have worked tirelessly but have suffered significant drops in income during the pandemic, but at the same time reset the way in which we capture data, building in some form of standardisation.

“Given the difference across the country in terms of size and scale of work that’s a big, ambitious task. More than that, though, it’s an amazing opportunity to move forward and build something special.”

John Eady, Knight, Kavanagh & Page chief executive, added: “We are delighted to have been appointed to work with the SPFLT and ATCs on this process. Having just completed a comparable exercise for the English Football League/Trust and its 72 professional club community organisations we are looking forward to learning about how it is done in Scotland.

“We are keen to establish an evaluation framework which ensures that the social and economic value of what the SPFLT and ATCs do is fully realised and recognised.”

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