£1.5m grant fund to help charities take on social investment launched by Cabinet Office

29 Oct 2014 News

A £1.5m grant fund to help charities demonstrate their impact and take on social investment has been launched today by the Cabinet Office.

A £1.5m grant fund to help charities demonstrate their impact and take on social investment has been launched today by the Cabinet Office.

The fund will be administered on behalf of the Cabinet Office by the Social Investment Business, and will help charities building infrastructure and develop “systems and knowledge” to measure their impact. Grants of between £15,000 and £150,000 are available.

Ventures will have to submit joint bids for funding in partnership with approved providers who are specialists in helping charities prove their impact.

Providers are being asked to apply for approved status by 10 November. Following that, application packs for charities will be available from 17 November. A closing date has not yet been provided.

Organisations must fit certain criteria to be successful when applying to the fund. These include being focused on tackling social problems; demonstrating a strong commitment to securing investment or to delivering public or private sector contracts and being able to complete the work plan within a maximum period of three months.

Charities are likely to hear if they have been successful in January, but money must be disbursed by the end of the financial year.

The fund is closely modelled on the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, a £10m fund already administered by the SIB, but is focused more closely on impact rather than broad investment readiness. The money provided is additional to £60m already allocated to grant funding to support social investment, announced in June this year. That money will come from repayments to Futurebuilders England, a third sector loan fund set up by the Labour government. A provided will be endowed to provide that funding in December.

Rob Wilson, the minister for civil society, said: “We know that many fantastic social ventures can struggle to show investors the potential they have to make an important impact and that is why they need our support. The grants that come through this fund will specifically help to demonstrate their impact in serving communities throughout the UK and to attract vital inward social investment.”

Jonathan Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Social Investment Business said: “This fund will help us build on the success of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund to offer more targeted support to ambitious social ventures who want to demonstrate their social impact more effectively to investors and commissioners to improve their chances of closing the investment deal or winning contracts.

“Our model enables ventures to buy in support they might otherwise not been able to access giving them a real competitive advantage.”