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Welcome our new Chair – Fozia Irfan OBE


360Giving is excited to welcome our new Chair of Trustees, Fozia Irfan OBE.

360Giving is delighted to announce that Fozia Irfan OBE, BBC Children in Need’s Director of Children and Young People, is to become our new Chair of Trustees from July 2022. Fozia has extensive experience in grantmaking and social action, and we’re excited for her to start in her new role.  

Fozia will be taking over from our Founder Fran Perrin OBE, who announced earlier this year that she is stepping down from the Board this summer, but will continue to support the organisation as a champion, ambassador and Founder after. 

About Fozia Irfan OBE

Fozia is BBC Children in Need’s Director of Children and Young People, and is responsible for the charity’s impact and grantmaking activities. Prior to joining BBC Children in Need, Fozia was Chief Executive of the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. 

In addition to her professional experience, Fozia has held a number of voluntary, advisory roles on grantmaking boards. She has been a Trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) and established the national Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Coalition of foundations which supports the implementation of more effective and equitable grantmaking strategies. 

Fozia also chaired the Extending Reach Programme at Scouts UK, was a Commissioner for the Inclusive Growth Commission in Luton and is currently a visiting lecturer at Bayes Business School. 

An exciting time to join 360Giving

Fozia is joining 360Giving at an exciting time. Over recent years, the amount of grants data shared in GrantNav has grown hugely. As of May 2022, 226 funders have published over 700,000 grants worth over £170bn. We’ve also developed the tools, training and support for funders and charities so that they can access and use this data to improve charitable giving. 

With a critical mass of open, comparable information available on UK grants for the first time, 360Giving has launched an ambitious new 2022-25 strategy – ‘Unleashing the Impact of Grants data’, which aims to achieve a permanent transformation in data culture and practice in the funding sector. As Chair of 360Giving, Fozia will steer and oversee the implementation of the strategy alongside the team. Responding to the announcement, Fozia said:

“I have long been an admirer of the work that 360Giving has done to transform the way that funders perceive and use open data. In my role at BBC Children in Need I have already been involved in the process of developing the DEI Data Standard, and really appreciate that 360Giving has supported and helped to nuance this initiative.

As 360Giving’s incoming Chair I’m looking forward to working with the Board to support grantmaking to become more effective, informed and strategic. Fran has left extremely big shoes to fill and is leaving the role having reached some incredible milestones – many of which were unimaginable when she established 360Giving. As the charity enters a new phase, I am so pleased to have the opportunity to work with the team to implement 360Giving’s new strategy and to unleash the impact of grants data.”

Although Fran is stepping down as Chair, she will continue to campaign for more and better use of open data in the funding sector. Looking back on her time as Chair of 360Giving, Fran said:

“I am so proud of the work that 360Giving has done over the past seven years to make funding more transparent. It would not be an exaggeration to say that 360Giving has transformed the funding sector. When I established 360Giving I had one main aim: to stop ‘giving in the dark’, and that has definitely been achieved. 

Now that there is a critical mass of open grants data from public, private and lottery funders, it is time for someone else to take over the reins as Chair and I know that Fozia will be outstanding in the role. It has been brilliant to work with so many people who believed in 360Giving’s aims, mission and vision, and I will continue to support and champion 360Giving from the sidelines as the charity’s Founder.”

The 360Giving team are excited to have Fozia on board; she brings a wealth of experience to the role and will do an excellent job of leading us through this new phase. We can’t thank Fran enough for all her hard work to steer 360Giving into the charity it is today, and we’re grateful she is staying in the charity’s fold.