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Independent Evaluation of the Futurebuilders Programme published

31 March 2010

The final report of the independent evaluation of the Futurebuilders programme has been published today by Sheffield Hallam University. The Futurebuilders programme provides loans and grants for third sector organisations to help them to win public service contracts.

The report has found that flexible finance and patient capital have been successful in delivering the aims of the programme, addressing market failure. It found that Futurebuilders investments generate financial and social returns, and savings to the public purse. 

The final report of the independent evaluation of the Futurebuilders programme has been published today by Sheffield Hallam University. The Futurebuilders programme provides loans and grants for third sector organisations to help them win public service contracts.

The report found that:

• Flexible finance and patient capital can be a key driver in supporting third sector organisations to expand their public service delivery
• Futurebuilders investments generate financial and social returns
•  Futurebuilders has successfully addressed a market failure
• Futurebuilders investments generate financial and social returns, and public cost savings

Key Findings

• Futurebuilders selects strong organisations that perform well. It selects a broad range of organisations with varying developmental needs which it provides with appropriate support.

• Fund recycling, both in terms of capital repayments and interest payments, enables funds to be re-invested in the future. The level of default (where investments are written off) was found to be less than five percent of the current investment book.

• Investments were largely found to be additional – investees would not have secured commercial funding at the same scale and the same time.

• Investee organisations were found not to be displacing existing services, and were providing better quality services and/or meeting unmet needs.

• Futurebuilders investments can quickly lead to additional public service delivery.

• Investee organisations offered an improvement in service and in some cases cost savings to funders.

• The services delivered by investees were found to be addressing largely unmet needs or providing innovation in service delivery.

• Futurebuilders investments can have catalytic effects by bringing benefits which would otherwise not have occurred, or not occurred to the same extent.

Executive Summary [pdf]

Full report [External pdf on Sheffield Hallam University website]