Faculties and Research

Sustainability and Social Finance

Social Investment as a new charity finance tool: 'using both head and heart'. A practitioner research paper:

Over the past two years the fledgling social investment market has continued to grow by around 30 per cent per annum. There has been incredible interest in this new tool to help charities become more sustainable and grow; however continuing to build understanding and creating new business models will be key if growth is to continue.

Our work over the past two years has involved several hundred interviews, a large symposium and an online questionnaire. We are excited to release this report with the results of our work.

While most reports on social investment to date have focused from the investor’s viewpoint, our report is aimed from the charity side and should be directly relevant to charities and their motivation for using social investment as a new finance tool. It will also be of considerable interest to investors and intermediaries wanting to engage with this nascent market.

We find that charities do want social investment, but are unsure how to use this new tool. They see potential for building sustainable and predictable income streams but are unsure how to implement and use this; especially when investment and borrowing can feel at odds to their charitable work.

Download the full report here for free or use the red button to the right of this page (note for mobile users this will display at the bottom of the page) >>

Social investment Tools for Success guide

Download our new guide which will help you to understand social investment and how you can use it in your funding mix. It also includes a diagnostic tool that you can use to think about social investment.

In return for accessing and downloading the toolkit for free, we would be grateful if you would complete our short, two-page questionnaire which will help us to map out the social investment landscape and determine how we can be best placed to support the sector.
Please take part here

Articles on Social Investment and Charity Finance

Our team has been writing a wide range of articles and short reports on Social Investment and Charity Finance. You can find them here:

July 2017

March 2017

February 2017

Head Over Heart: The Future of Nonprofit Finance

Together with Big Society Capital, Charities Aid Foundation, Charity Finance Group and Macquarie Group, we hosted our first symposium on nonprofit finance and social investment on 12th November 2015.
We are grateful to The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants for their generous support.

The aim of the symposium was to create a base of understanding around Social Finance and Social Impact Investing upon which the topic can be explored through critical thinking, investigating new ideas and challenging existing opinions.

Download our initial summary and analysis of the symposium questionnaire results.

Download our report of highlights from the symposium here.

We will also be releasing video footage of all of the speeches and a report of the event in the New Year on this page.

Symposium thought pieces

Each of our partner organisations has written a short thought piece giving a personal perspective ahead of the symposium. Download them below:

You can also visit our Professional Development Social Finance page where you can view events we are running and book your place.