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Social investment

Alterative income sources for charities
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Social investment is money provided to support an organisation to generate more income or be more effective. It is not a grant or a donation. Social investment allows charities and social enterprises to access new or larger scale opportunities to deliver social and financial returns. This should allow the organisation to have a positive impact on their beneficiaries in a more sustainable way, and allow the investment to be repaid, often with interest.

We see social investment as being part of the funding environment for charities and social enterprises, rather than being separate to it. Since 2010, we’ve been working to make sure it is accessible to the charity sector and have run a number of programmes that support social investment including:

Within these programmes, we have funded hundreds of organisations, which focussed on:

  • Investment readiness
  • Developing and launching social impact bonds
  • Making social investment more accessible/appropriate to the charitable and social enterprise sector
  • The growth of community owned businesses

In this section, you will find our learning on social investment. You can use this information to better understand social investment and plan Social Impact Bonds to get the best results.

We’ve also produced a guide called Social Investment Explained (PDF 12MB) which gives you an overview of the UK’s social investment market. The guide helps you to work out whether, and how, social investment is relevant to your organisation.