Project snapshot

Provide bespoke advisory services

Search and select support for local employment and education partners
To ensure their corporate giving is easy to manage and measurable

We've helped Landsec, a FTSE 100 real estate company, transform the way they support great causes across the UK. The company called upon our expertise to rethink its approach to community giving. 

That support has been pivotal in the development of key areas of Landsec Futures, a £20 million fund that launched in Spring 2023 with the aim of delivering £200 million of social value by 2030.

It’s early days but the groundwork laid over the course of the previous year is already paying off, including almost 150 applications for community grants in the first 10 months.

The objectives

Landsec wanted to do more at a corporate level to support young people from underrepresented social economic backgrounds. Increasing the diversity of talent in the real estate industry formed part of a long-held ambition to create a charitable foundation. The challenge they faced was how to get there.

The company had a good idea of how they wanted to build on the culture of giving that already existed at a local level. To do this they needed a partner with the experience and knowledge to guide them along the right path to deliver their ambitions.

We provided Landsec with the perspective they needed: laying the foundations for an effective strategy that would ultimately transform its ability to support good causes across the business. 

Our support

Landsec first approached us in Spring 2022. Over the next year our expertise was called upon to support the company as its long-term corporate giving programme began to crystallise.

1. Deciding the right delivery structure for a new approach to corporate giving

Landsec initially sought advice on how to set up an independent charitable foundation, including ensuring the right level of governance and structure was in place. 

We provided guidance on the pros and cons of this approach as well as providing guidance on the structures and tools needed to support a community grant scheme, operating on a national scale. 

They ultimately decided to set up their Foundation within the CAF structure, rather than as an independent Foundation.

2. Scaling up community grantmaking 

The next stage was formalising the company’s approach to local community giving for teams based at shopping centres and other managed assets across the country.

We helped with the design of a grant system that would meet best practice standards. It needed to be easy to resource so that each site could retain ownership of the process and decision-making.

Our Grantmaking team also advised on appropriate grant sizing and reporting, as well as structuring the way grants are processed to keep things as simple as possible. 

“We had a clear idea quite early on of the role CAF could play, including guidance on how we would deliver local grants and their detailed knowledge of charities and local organisations.

“Bringing together CAF’s expertise for finding charities and combining that with our own knowledge of areas and assets worked well in finding the right partners. It’s been really good.”

Emily McEleny, Senior Sustainability Manager – Social Impact, Landsec

3. Searching and selecting local causes to support that met corporate objectives

Landsec had formalised a number of existing relationships with charities but were keen to find additional local causes that fully aligned with their intended impact.  

Scaling up their community giving was challenged by a need for increased knowledge of charities and grassroots organisations that Landsec might partner with or support.  

Our Impact Advisory team developed a strategy to help Landsec find employment and education partners at sites around the UK. This was formalised in a proposal submitted in Autumn 2022 and approved that year. 

A bespoke search and select service was also commissioned to help local Landsec teams identify local causes and projects. 

“There is a risk when you’re going into an area where you don’t necessarily know who or what the charities are. CAF provides a lot of value that has proved important to us, including due diligence and search and select. 

“There’s a lot going on and we just don’t have the resource to do everything we need to do.  Knowing that we’ve got a partner in CAF with the knowledge and expertise has been incredibly useful.

Ollie Leggett, Junior Project Manager -Social Impact, Landsec


4. Delivering core elements of a new ‘charity foundation’

In the Autumn of 2022, we were selected by Landsec as a key partner to deliver core elements of their proposed new fund. Setting up a CAF Company Account model was the first focus to ensure transparency and provide the company with the right mechanism to effectively manage several different funding pots.

Our Grantmaking team also worked on designing Landsec’s community grant scheme. This would form a core component of Landsec Futures when it launched in April 2023 with the promise of maximising the potential of people, places, and communities.  

“CAF has been there in the background for us throughout as we’ve looked to build scale and take our corporate giving nationwide – which has been great in terms of helping us both in terms of building scale and focus."

Ben Anderson, Senior Sustainability Manager – Social Impact, Landsec

The impact

Our trusted guidance, experience and knowledge has proved invaluable in helping Landsec to transform many aspects of its corporate giving strategy and approach.

Our support has helped Landsec take a successful local approach nationwide, giving their corporate giving strategy more shape and putting it in a much better position to communicate effectively with both internal and external audiences.

The way the company makes decisions on community grants has been re-structured to give teams at Landsec sites across the UK the confidence that they are making a real difference to their communities.

The number of community grant applications has increased with volunteering also on the rise. It has energised existing employees, built new connections with new education and youth employment partners, and raised awareness of Landsec as a forward thinking, community minded organisation set on changing lives for the better. 

With our support, Landsec now has the systems in place to demonstrate the difference its support of local charities and causes is making nationwide: a standard bearer of best practice and corporate giving governance for the real estate sector. 

“It’s that level of confidence that CAF inspires. We know that we can just trust what they tell us– from the checks they carry out to the caveats they put forward.  

“It’s clear that CAF just gets what we’re trying to achieve and are working with us, not just for us. It feels like, yes– it’s all right.”

Jennie Colville, Head of ESG and Sustainability, Landsec

Project takeaways

Bespoke service

We work collaboratively and flexibly to meet our clients’ needs and answer both key objectives and the challenges of scaling up, managing, and monitoring a national fund at scale. We were able to design processes and solutions according to stage and intentions to ensure a good outcome for all. 

Partnership working

We provide our clients with the right support as and when they need us. Our long relationship with Landsec as a partner, built the confidence and trust needed for what would become core components of the Landsec Futures programme. A collaborative and positive approach has been key to the success of our partnership to date. 

Measuring impact

We have been able to provide independent, strategic advice that has helped to shape a strategy that will effectively highlight the impact of projects seeking to create opportunities both for talented young people and the communities in which they live. 

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