What is social investment?
Entirely separate from our grant making, social investment allows us to offer organisations the financial resources they need to support work which generates an income whilst also delivering valuable social impacts. For example, a community organisation that needed funds to start a trading venture or to scale up its capacity to deliver contracted services, could be funded in this way.
This type of support can help organisations to diversify their funding base, reduce their reliance on grant funding and increase their social impact. Typically, our social investments will be loans or equity but, unlike grants, must be repaid with interest. Whilst we can be flexible about the size or type of investments we make (and how much interest we charge), all investments of this type must deliver useful social outcomes.
We therefore want to hear from organisations and enterprises (with a viable business case) seeking or considering investment as a way to help them develop sustainable work with positive outcomes for society. Like our grants, our social investments can only support work that benefits Londoners, but we do look at each opportunity on a case-by-case basis and are happy to discuss early investment ideas with you.
Importantly, making social investments does not affect the amount of funding we have available for grant making.
Examples of Trust for London's social investments
Currently, we have £14.3 million of investment commitments to projects that are delivering important social benefits. Two recent examples include:
- A £450,000 loan to Hackney Co-operative Developments towards renovation costs of a new building that will support local social enterprises and help create new employment opportunities.
- A £30,000 working capital loan to Friendly Families Nursery to help develop an innovative parent-led approach to nursery provision. Read our news item on this award.
One significant investment (£1.85 million of equity) has helped create the Foundry – a large scale project that brings together some of London’s most innovative and progressive social justice and human rights organisations in an affordable award-winning building.
We’re listed on Good Finance, a website to help charities and social enterprises navigate social investment.
For further information or to discuss a potential investment application please contact:
4 Chiswell Street
Telephone: 020 7606 6145