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Blog | 12 February 2015

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.

Blog | 1 February 2015

The Real Lettings Property Fund now stands at more than £46 million, thanks to further investment by Big Society Capital and the City of London Corporation. The fund, managed by Resonance in partnership with the charity St Mungo’s, buys properties to let to homeless families in London.

Blog | 29 January 2015

“Improving the quality and reach of social care to meet rising demand is one of the biggest challenges our country now faces… It is crucial that we ‘tap’ every resource that exists to help us create the conditions needed to transform social care into a service that older and disabled people, and their families, really can rely on.”

Blog | 23 January 2015

On Thursday last week the Rt Hon Francis Maude, the Minister for Cabinet Office, hosted an Angels for Good event at number 11 Downing Street to introduce current and prospective social angel investors to social entrepreneurs and members of the angel.

Blog | 15 January 2015

Belated Happy New Year. It is still, just about, a good time for reflection.

Blog | 15 January 2015

In a series of short videos, we hear from a range of charities and social enterprises on their experiences of taking on social investment and their tips for other organisations condidering it:

What has social investment done for us?

Blog | 28 December 2014

Yesterday, the Guardian reported that, according to the National Audit Office (NAO) there has been a 14% increase in the number of children in care (Baby P effect takes children in care numbers to 25-year high, says NAO). More clearly needs to be done to tackle the challenges around children in care, which leads to a range of poorer outcomes for those children, not least far lower educational attainment.

Blog | 24 December 2014

“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” 
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds”
 

Blog | 23 December 2014

I sometimes think applying for social investment is like standing at the bottom of the Three Gorges Dam with a small cup, and asking for some water to make a cup of tea. You shout up at a person standing at the top of the dam to ask for some water. “Hang on a minute” they say, and go off to turn a wheel to release some water from the dam.  What you get is a huge gush of water out, at great speed, surging out with the potential energy of the water behind the dam. It sweeps away your little cup and if you are not careful, takes you with it.

Blog | 22 December 2014

The second trap we fall into with social investment is using a broad word to describe a number of quite different things. We then assert that social investment is just one of them – the investment part.  To me, social investment is actually four quite different things which do overlap with each other, but are quite distinct.  It’s not surprising therefore, that in a “can you explain social investment to your esteemed relative” test, we end up getting slightly confused ourselves.  

Blog | 18 December 2014

The old challenge is, can you explain your job in a way that your otherwise highly capable elderly relatives would understand?  Most of my esteemed elders are dead, so I admit, that is a bit of a barrier to communication, but let’s not have reality stand in the way of a good metaphor in social investment.
 

Blog | 15 December 2014

Let’s be nice to the French and start with a philosophical and historical context.  

Blog | 15 December 2014

Today we’re launching the Business Impact Challenge - an opportunity for corporates to develop high-impact social purpose investment ideas and receive matching funding of up to £15 million and support from Big Society Capital.

Blog | 12 December 2014

Those of us working in the social investment market have often been teased about the creation of a whole new language in an attempt to blend the financial and social sectors. But in the last few months I have read two quite different views on the state of the social investment market as we approach the end of 2014. And it has left me wondering – what do we all mean when we say ‘social investment market’?

Blog | 11 December 2014

The Cabinet Office and Department for Communities and Local Government has announced a £15m Fair Chance Fund to help change the lives of vulnerable young homeless people over the next three years.

Blog | 5 December 2014

Is the talk around social investment market all hype and no action? Last week, at the Good Deals conference and a Charities Finance Group social investment event, the voices of an increasing number of ambitious, risk-taking charities and social enterprises who are now using social investment was much stronger than at similar previous events, including Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre, St Mungo's, London Early Years Foundation, Building Lives and Homes for Good

Blog | 3 December 2014

The journey towards helping individuals address the financial needs of social organisations has sped up considerably today. In today’s Autumn statement, the Chancellor’s announced that Government intends to seek approval for a significant increase to the size of investments that are eligible under Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to £5m per organisation per year from its previous limit of approximately £290,000 over three years. This is what charities and social enterprises asked for and Government has clearly listened. This should be a big boost to the sector, which could help address persistent capital needs, and potentially transform the nature of the social investment market.

Blog | 27 November 2014

Social Enterprise Day saw a range of initiatives across the UK that celebrated and raised awaresness of social enterprises. In today's guest blog, we hear from Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director at Business in the Community, about arc, their partnership with Social Enterprise UK.

Blog | 26 November 2014
The Winterbourne View problem has been defined by the c. 3,250 people with Learning Disabilities around the country who are residing in inpatient facilities where personal, health system and societal outcomes are very poor. Five hundred people have been in these institutions for over ten years, and 60% for over one year. It costs around £600m each year for people to remain in these institutions. Numbers are rising, and it appears that there are complex and entrenched barriers to individuals moving back into alternative housing and supported provision in community settings, which would be better for the individual and could also, over time, cost less.
 
Blog | 25 November 2014

Last week I had the privilege of attending one of the best events on the social conference calendar: Locality’s Annual Convention at Cardiff City Hall.

Blog | 6 November 2014

Preferred bidders were announced last week in the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) programme. TR is the outsourcing of probation services for low and medium risk offenders in England and Wales with an annual contract value of £490 million.

Blog | 29 October 2014

In a written Ministerial Statement, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling has today announced the Preferred Bidders for the 21 Community Rehabilitation Company contracts as part of Transforming Rehabliation - the programme to reform probation services.

Blog | 16 October 2014

4Children is the first organisation to benefit from the FSE Social Impact Accelerator Fund. The fund was launched earlier this year to help charities and social enterprises scale up their activity.

Blog | 13 October 2014

Garforth Neighbourhood Elders Team (NET) is a community organisation in Leeds, providing support to older people over the age of 60 and their carers. 

Blog | 6 October 2014

Furnistore is a charity that provides good quality furniture and households goods at affordable prices to individuals and families in Redhill. The charity is mainly staffed by volunteers who collect unwanted items from local residents which are then sold to the public. A discounted or free service is available to help those families who may not otherwise be able to afford basic household goods or have been referred by social agencies.