Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF) is an independent Foundation focused on improving the lives of young children and their families. The Foundation does this through working with others to identify needs, building on existing initiatives, formulating new initiatives, making strategic grants, gathering and sharing learning, contributing to the development of policy and practice and protecting the Foundation’s endowment fund.
The key principles that underpin KHF’s work are:
- A belief that KHF can make a difference through focused interventions based on collaboration, reflective learning, adding value and flexibility.
- A commitment to equality and overcoming disadvantage and to promote equality of opportunity for all children.
- A commitment to apply respect, integrity and empathy in all aspects of KHF’s work.
- A commitment to transparency and accountability throughout all KHF’s work.
The Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF) was established in 1979 by Katharine Howard, who was the last survivor of the Earls of Wicklow and resided most of her adult life in Co Wexford. She set up the Trust with assistance from friends who agreed to support her by becoming Trustees. Her intention was to support locally based projects and community activities. She was a founder member of the Gorey Girl Guides and was involved in other voluntary organisations such as the Camphill community that assisted people with disabilities and others, involving environmental projects.
Initially she allocated £20,000 to her fund and gradually added more modest funds to the Trust which continued distributing small amounts of funds until her death in 1990. Subsequently her estate and that of her American grandmother was then added to her endowment funds and this greatly increased the funding that was available. These funds were then carefully invested by the Trustees who also expanded the organisation and sought advice to become strategic and focused about its grant making.