Social investment in the Arts, Heritage and Sports | Big Society Capital

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Social investment in the Arts, Heritage and Sports

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This Social Investment Insights paper focuses on how social investment can be used to support arts, heritage and sports organisations.

The arts, heritage and sport have an innate benefit - they enhance and enrich people’s lives. Arts, heritage and sports organisations are also tackling social issues or working with vulnerable people. There are arts, heritage and sports charities whose mission is to address homelessness, mental health and domestic violence and organisations working with at-risk young people and isolated older people. This is resulting in an increasing focus on evidencing the social value of the arts, heritage and sport – particularly in a challenging funding environment.

Arts, heritage and sport organisations represent 14% of the voluntary sector, the second largest subsector. Organisations range from large national institutions to small, community groups. They undertake a variety of activities, from poetry to football, and some own and manage material assets, such as theatres, leisure facilities and historic buildings.

Arts, heritage and sport organisations are facing significant reductions in public spending at central and local government level. This is driving a need to evolve business models and develop new revenues in order to build organisations more able to sustain themselves.

Social investment may be able to support organisations undergoing this transition. The principal opportunities we have identified are in relation to investment in facilities, growth capital and working capital to develop new revenue streams and expansion, finance for the transfer of assets to the community and innovative approaches to fundraising such as crowdfunding and community shares.

Last updated | 
29 April 2015