STATEMENT: THE FUTURE OF EQUITYSPORT
As the charity sector at large confronts a hostile fundraising environment, the residual impacts of COVID-19, the rising cost of living and the threat of a long term global recession, we have made a statement regarding the future of equitysport.
Like many charities, big and small, equitysport is facing up to unprecedented challenges caused by the residual impacts of COVID-19, the rising cost-of-living for our donors, the threat of a long term global recession and the widespread re-focusing of funding priorities by a number of our key funders to causes relating to climate change and matters closer to home.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become well versed in staying lean and adapting to what has been a tumultuous period for not only the charity sector, but all of us. However, in recent months it has become increasingly clear that whilst the acute effects of COVID-19 might be dissipating, the longer term impacts of geopolitical shifts like Brexit, conflict, inflation and economic downturns are rapidly increasing the costs of both running our programmes around the world and sustaining our capacity to grow and expand our operation, particularly in relation to fundraising.
We recognise that with what is predicted to be an incredibly challenging winter ahead for everyone, and considering the accumulated impacts of the aforementioned factors, we are unlikely to be able to sustain the organisation over the long term, and any short-term fixes are likely to put an unsupportable strain on our people, partners and our supporters.
Following lengthy discussions, a thorough review of our operations, and realistic analysis of the short, medium and long term threats to our charity and the sector at large, the equitysport Board of Trustees have made the incredibly difficult decision to begin winding up the charity. This winding up process is expected to take several months as we exhaust our funds through our existing programmes. We will publish expected timelines in due course.
This decision has been made as early as possible to allow us to do so on our terms, protect the integrity of our charity, allow us to be completely transparent with our brilliant partners and supporters, and ensure we can deliver impact through one final round of programmes; namely an expanded grant-cycle in support of those in our targeted regions who are working to extend opportunity and advance equality through sport in and for their communities.
In order to ensure that as much money is funneled into our final programme cycle as possible over the coming months, Tim Harper, our Executive Director has recently left his position as Executive Director and will be volunteering his time to assist the board in administering the programmes and winding down processes. The board of trustees will remain in post until the charity is closed to oversee the next steps.
We will stop actively fundraising on 1st October 2022, and as recently communicated to members, close our recurring giving programme: SQUAD on the same day.
The mission and vision of equitysport remains important, and we have every confidence that many of our supporters, donors, partners and friends will continue to act as passionate custodians for global sport long into the future. For our part, we, as individuals, will remain passionate advocates and supporters of your work.
Thank you so much for your support, your belief and your commitment to the true values of sport.
Tim Harper, equitysport Executive Director:
“This is obviously a very sad announcement and the circumstances that surround this decision are incredibly disappointing and frustrating, not least because they are largely out of our control. However, I am absolutely sure that this is the right call. All of us at equitysport were unanimous in our ardent belief that if this decision has to be made, it must be on our terms, proactively, and in a way that would give those associated with the charity as much notice as possible.
I am immensely grateful to our trustees: Garnet, Kalyn, Charlotte L and Jennifer for their support, not only over the past few weeks, but throughout their time in post. To Charlene, our Chair, who has worked closely with me as we recently negotiated our options and made efforts to secure the long term future of the charity, a special thank you. Thanks too, to Sarah and Charlotte C, who, during their previous terms as trustees, discharged their duties with passion, diligence and commitment.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt and sincere thanks to all of our partners, supporters, donors and friends for the considerable part they all played in advancing a fairer, more equitable sporting world. I feel very privileged to have met and worked alongside such amazingly passionate people across the world.
I am proud of what we have achieved as a charity; I know what we did changed lives irrevocably for the better in sport and through sport, in some of the most under-served and disadvantaged communities in the world. I know that our advocacy work gave real hope to those that sport chooses to ignore or leave behind; and I remain humbled by the trust so many individuals and groups put in us as they sought change.
Obviously I would have loved to have continued to build on all that good work long into the future, but will move on grateful that I had the opportunity to do this job at all. I look forward to celebrating the successes of our final round of programmes over the coming months, and reaching out to all those who have walked this path with us over the years to share my gratitude for believing in our mission.”
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Thank you for all your support!