Increasing interest in social investment

A survey by ACEVO, the charity leaders body, and social investment promoters Big Society Capital, has found that just over forty per cent of charity CEOs think that repayable finance would be beneficial to their organisation.

A joint statement said that “More charities are looking at alternative ways to fund their work and, as a result, social investment has been the subject of increased interest and scrutiny.”

The survey summary reckons that it is difficult to draw general conclusions, but there are some emerging trends:

  • Charities are in a confident mood with reasonable appetite to consider social investment.
  • CEOs think that their trustees would consider social investment.
  • Social investment is seen more positively by larger charities and/or those seeking to grow.
  • Future demand is not just for buying assets.
  • Social investment isn’t only about taking out loans.
  • Increasing understanding of social investment.

See Big Society Capital blog at for overview and link to the full report (pdf, 241KB).

Coverage by Pioneers Post also mentions the chief executive of Charity Finance Group pointing out that although she is “an enthusiastic supporter of social investment”, it is not a silver bullet. “It cannot replace income and it’s not suitable for all. I’d love to see a fraction of the energy (around social investment) invested into building basic and essential skills and capacity in the sector.”

Not so far covered by VoluntaryNews is the announcement of the first social impact bonds which have qualified for SITR (Social Investment Tax Relief).

The bonds will provide £910,000 to enable four charities to support around 500 young homeless people (or at risk of homelessness) to find accommodation, education and employment. The bond issue is already fully subscribed.

From Triodos Bank news release,