Leeds Community Foundation have announced the appointment of their new chief executive, Steph Taylor.

Steph has been Deputy CEO at Leeds Community Foundation and director of GiveBradford for the past three years and succeeds Kate Hainsworth, who will be officially stepping away in December after over eight years with the Foundation, six of those as CEO.

Leeds Community Foundation has distributed over £60million to date, supporting thousands of people across Leeds and Bradford. The new chief executive will also oversee the Foundation’s other charitable entities, including Bradford District Community Foundation (GiveBradford) and The Old Fire Station, Gipton.

Steph was previously responsible for raising and distributing over £20million a year at Charities Aid Foundation alongside leading its strategic advisory function for government, companies, and major donors. Now an expert in philanthropy, she has established, led, and worked in partnership with numerous grassroots and national charities over the years and began her career in Yorkshire as a youth worker giving careers advice to young people excluded from school. Steph is both an RSA and Windsor Leadership Fellow, has an MBA, and is a committee member of the Youth Futures Foundation.

Steph said: “As a Leeds lass of Bradfordian parents, I’m chuffed to be given the privilege of leading the largest independent funder in the region. Having worked nationally and internationally across the private, public and charity sectors on social impact, I know there’s no place like home to make a difference.

“I’m inspired every day by our passionate and knowledgeable team, who connect people with money to give to those having a real impact locally. I will do justice to our mission by working collaboratively, equitably and with ambition.

“It will be a real honour to build on Kate's legacy of achievement, while keeping us fit for the future amid growing need, falling donations, and rapid social and technological change.”

Cleveland Henry, Chair of Leeds Community Foundation said: “Steph was appointed after a highly competitive external recruitment process led by specialist recruiters Peridot. She brings a wealth of experience from a wide range of leadership roles in the social sector covering grant making, development, governance, and partnerships, I feel we are privileged to have this expertise as the new CEO.

“The next stages for the Foundation are imperative, building on our successful track history and being ready to face the opportunities and challenges ahead of us. As new Chair, I look forward to working closely with Steph.”

Kate Hainsworth, outgoing CEO said: “Now is the right time to channel fresh passion and commitment and I am delighted that one of our own will be continuing the direction of travel we’ve all been building over recent years - to be open, inclusive and innovative. I am truly excited to see what comes next – for the good of the brilliant communities of Leeds and Bradford."

Steph will formally commence the role in January 2024.