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Congratulations on your closure!

Brave’, ‘strategic’, ‘congratulations’, ‘thanks for the CDF legacy’ – not phrases you would expect when an organisation takes a decision to close. But these are the overwhelming sentiments I have received since announcing late December 2015 that CDF will soon cease to exist, after nearly 50 years.

With charities hitting the headlines at the tail-end of the wave of recalibration of big business (in which I include the public sector), CDF has, as usual, done things differently. Our board and senior team have always been clear – our charity exists to fulfil its charitable objects, not to sustain itself as an organisation.

Since Autumn 2015, creating or providing a stable platform for community development has been at the forefront of CDF’s trustees and senior team’s minds. And we think we have an answer. We propose to offer our assets – cash, intellectual property and products – to an organisation we know well with similar charitable objects and with a secure future. From a position of strength, we hope to pioneer a different approach for the sector which others will follow … and change a few perceptions of it along the way.

We have set a clear timeline to manage closure swiftly and smoothly, to both meet our obligations to clients and ensure a transfer of substance to our recipient organisation. To do this we have aligned all staff end dates, regardless of notice periods and provided a budget and support to help them progress into new roles. In the short time since our announcement, two people have already secured great jobs and several have seen this as an opportunity to shift their career path. The atmosphere is calm – business as usual – and communication is open, with staff supporting each other in their searches.

As for me, I will be managing the transfer process, regulatory requirements and the completion of delivery commitments until the end of April 2016 and, with an open mind, seek new challenges from June 2016.