The FA Community Shield raises hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, distributed to community-based initiatives and charities up and down the country.
The funds are raised through a combination of tickets sales and match programmes.
The 2006 FA Community Shield sponsored by McDonald’s raised £880,000 and each of the 124 clubs who competed in The FA Cup from the First Round onwards received £5,000 to donate to up to three local charities or community-based projects of their choice.
One of those clubs, Chippenham Town FC, who went out of the 2005-06 Competition in the First Round to Worcester City, chose The Doorway Project as one of two local charities to receive £2,500.
Doorway is a drop-in centre in Chippenham, North Wiltshire providing a friendly, safe place for adults who are homeless or who have complex issues, such as debt, mental health problems, substance abuse or poor life skills which are likely to affect their ability to acquire or sustain a tenancy.
The donation from The FA Community Shield has enabled Doorway to continue to make a difference to the lives of many homeless people by providing them with a hope for the future.
Another non-League outfit to get through to the First Round of The Cup, Staffordshire-based Chasetown FC, who play in the Southern League Division One Midlands, opted to donate their £5,000 share of The Community Shield fund to a local charity for older people.
The Burntwood Live at Home Scheme supports people through a variety of services to live independently in their own homes, often preventing the need for them to enter residential care. The donation will be used to support the work of older people with the early signs of dementia.
Manchester United stars Ronaldo and Alan Smith recently met representatives from the three local charities who benefited from Manchester United’s 2006 Community Shield donation. Beechwood Cancer Care in Chelford Grove, Stockport, the Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders in Cheadle Hulme and the Warrington group of the brain injury association Headway all received a split of the £5,000.
The remainder of the 2006 fund was distributed among The FA’s four official Charity Partners. The FA Charity Programme includes two lead FA Charity Partners - The British Heart Foundation and the Everyman ‘Keep Your Eye on the Ball’ campaign, which is focused on combating testicular and prostate cancer organised in partnership with the PFA.
The two annual charity partners for 2007 are Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the UK's leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research, campaigning and education, and Coaching for Hope, a charity which uses football coaching to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Africa and highlight HIV/AIDS awareness.