What is happening to Beacon now?
The Trustees of Beacon are committed to the Beacon goal of increasing the impact and extent of UK philanthropy. They have been working hard to develop a new approach for Beacon which builds on its considerable achievements and allows them to enrich and extend the work of the Fellowship.
The trustees have agreed a new way of working with Community Foundation Network (CFN) as from 1 April 2009. CFN is a registered charity committed to developing philanthropy particularly at a local community level.
The Beacon Fellowship network and awards will retain their separate identity and will be re-energised by association with community foundations, their regional and national events and their involvement in developing philanthropic practice, research and lobbying on policy.
We will be consulting Beacon Fellows over the next few months with a view to boosting the ‘network’ aspects of the fellowship. Later this year we will announce the next set of Beacon awards to be awarded in 2010.
For more information please keep your eye on this website.
What is Beacon?
The Beacon Fellowship Charitable Trust (Beacon) is a national charitable
organisation, created to encourage individual contributions to charitable
and social causes and to celebrate and showcase best practice in
giving. It is the only scheme of its kind in the UK, and allows
the charity sector to recognise formally those who make exceptional
contributions to charity, whether through resources, time or specialist
What is a Beacon Prize?
The Beacon Prize is an annual award scheme, set up to highlight
and showcase exceptional contributions to charitable and social
All winners are invited to join the Beacon Fellowship, a group which
meets several times a year to bring its skills to bear on issues
of relevance to the future of the voluntary sector. One overall
winner receives a cash award to give to the charitable cause(s)
of their choice.
When was the prize scheme begun?
Beacon was launched in April 2003. The 2008 Prize was the fifth to be awarded.
Who is behind the Beacon Prize scheme?
Beacon is the brainchild of David Charters and Emily Stonor. They developed
the initiative in collaboration with a group of Principal and Strategic
Partners, including The Cabinet Office, UBS, Vodafone, CAF, The
Community Channel, Classic FM, Bell Pottinger,
The Giving Campaign, Regus and Russell Investment Group.
What does Beacon aim to do?
The aims of Beacon are:
to highlight and honour contributions that have really made
to inspire others to give
to set new standards of best practice in charitable work
ABOUT THE NOMINATION/JUDGING PROCESS
Can anyone nominate someone for the Beacon Prize?
Yes. Charities, voluntary and community organisations, companies and the general
public may make a nomination by completing a nomination form and
submitting it to Beacon. Nomination forms will be available from the Beacon website for 2009/2010.
Who is eligible for the Beacon Prize?
Individuals (or, exceptionally, couples) but not institutions, are eligible.
Nominees must be resident in the UK, Channel Islands, or the Isle
Is this a national awards system?
Yes, it is a national award scheme with National and Regional Prizes.
For each of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, the Judges
will award a Prize to an individual who has made an exceptional
contribution in any one of the 5 categories, and where the charitable
efforts and results have been largely regional or national.
What are the Prize Categories?
Categories are likely to include:
The Beacon Prize for Leadership
The Beacon Prize for Community Builder
The Beacon Prize for New Initiatives
The Beacon Prize for Creative Giving
The Beacon Prize for Young Philanthropist
Judges' Special Prize
How does the judging process work?
All nominations are initially assessed by Beacon and a shortlist drawn up for
each Prize Category, with the help of an independent panel of Scrutineers,
made up of leading experts from the charity, media, financial and
business sectors. The final selection is made by a panel of independent
judges, at their sole discretion.
What are the criteria for the judges?
In awarding the Prizes, the independent panel of judges focus on
the impact that the nominees' contributions have made. They seek
to acknowledge and honour candidates:
Whose contribution can be perceived as an outstanding example
Who have developed creative and original approaches to solving
problems that are capable of wider imitation and replication
Who show entrepreneurial spirit
Who have been willing to take risks
Who have demonstrated leadership
Who have been unusually responsive to the needs of the charity
or cause concerned
Whose contributions are measurable, replicable, sustainable
and supported by evidence
How is the prize money to be spent?
The Beacon monetary award is presented to the overall winner to
donate to charitable causes of their choice. The money does not
have to go to just one cause or be implemented immediately, but
should be utilised within 90 days of the ceremony.
Is Beacon involved with the spending of the prize money?
Beacon will offer help and guidance, if required, in determining
the most effective use of the prize money in innovative, creative
ways, which may be held up as models of best practice and new thinking.
Will winners become Beacon Fellows and what will that
All of our winners become lifelong Fellows of the Beacon Fellowship.
They meet several times a year to address issues of relevance to
the voluntary sector. The scope for the future development of the
Fellowship has been deliberately left as flexible as possible to
allow maximum scope for the Fellows themselves to develop it.
Do the winners have any duties they have to perform during
The Fellowship is a voluntary body, but it is hoped that the Fellows
will wish to use it as a forum for further focusing and developing
their endeavours in the voluntary sector.
Is there a need for another award scheme in this sector?
There is no other scheme like Beacon. Beacon is the only award
scheme that specifically focuses on giving.
THE BEACON FELLOWSHIP
What is the Beacon Fellowship?
All Beacon Prize Winners are invited to become life Fellows. The
Fellowship is a forum of best practice for others and will allow
Fellows to share their experiences. Over time it is hoped that the
Fellowship will develop into a significant and influential force
in the charitable sector.
How does the Fellowship work?
The Beacon Fellowship is managed by the Beacon Charitable Trust.
Each year a suitable programme of events is developed. The focus of the
programme is outward facing and highlights the Fellowship's core
values of leadership, influence, celebration and inspiration.