'From fundraising to founder of a for purpose business', Benjamin Janes
Updated: Apr 11
Meet Benjamin Janes, founder and CEO of the Trust Partnership, a UK based social enterprise that manages charitable trusts and foundations through a unique model around shared resources and services. Benjamin explains how he started his career as a fundraiser and launched his own company.
Established in 2004, The Trust Partnership, provides a full suite of services that medium-sized endowed charitable foundations might need, including administration, grant-making support, bookkeeping, management, accounting, and annual accounting.
They also work closely with Alms House charities, which are ancient forms of social housing, established in the 10th Century in Britain, that still endures to this day.
Headquartered in rural Cirencester in the South West of England Benjamin and his 50 strong team at The Trust Partnership work with 45 endowed charitable foundations and 10 Alms House charities with approximately 300 residents. They aim to solve day to day challenges of their clients as well as helping their clients develop and deliver their longer-term strategies.
The Trust Partnership is a social enterprise, not a charity or non-profit, and recently recertified as a B Corp which means they measure their success by their ability to make a positive impact to society and the environment alongside their ability to make a profit. Benjamin outline how the certification process helped to solidify their business model principles and be better in their decision-making. Benjamin discusses the challenges of balancing purpose and profit. The unique challenges presented by helping organisations to deliver on their charitable mission at the same time they are running a commercial business that needs to be profitable that can pay its people competitive rates.
Benjamin started his career in the charity sector as a commission-only sales job selling door-to-door. He then went on to work as a fundraiser for various organizations such as Farm Africa, the British Red Cross, Missing People, and WellChild. His longest stint was at Farm Africa, which was about three years long.
Benjamin's entrepreneurial spirit was evident even in his early years. He had a desire to do his own thing and started Trust Partnerships to provide services for endowed foundations. He could see the organisations which needed the help, and he was able to deliver a solution for the trustees of these organisations freeing them up to focus on strategy and delivering societal impact. While it was a bold move for Benjamin to make, especially considering the existing commitments he had to his family at that time as the main earner. However, he had real conviction about the move and he was passionate about the charity sector and knew that he wanted to test himself in this way and he also wanted control over his destiny.
19 years on Benjamin is proud of what he and his team have achieved and despite the challenges presented by economic downturns and the recent pandemic they have build a successful for purpose business that has helped charities deliver impactful services.