James Burrows, Investment Director at Big Society Capital, gives an overview of how we are approaching our work in supporting communities across the UK, seeking to learn from the work of others over many years. This is the first in a series of posts seeking to share lessons and insights from our own work in this area as well as others – partners and colleagues. For more on what we are up to in this strand of our work please see our website, with more updates to come.
For Small Charity Week we’re celebrating the contribution that small charities make to all our lives. 97% charities have income less than £1m and an important focus of our work is on how social investment can be a useful tool for them.
As part of our campaign to raise awareness about Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), we teamed up with social enterprise Breadshare to show just how simple it is. If you don’t know about SITR or not sure how it works, Breadshare’s chief baker explains literally by using his loaf!
I think it’s often surprising how many people have a mobility issue – more than 1 billion people in the world have some form of disability, which is around 15% of the world population. In the UK the estimate is around 10% of the population and 18% in the US. But this community is often ignored by entrenched industries.
Big Society Capital is actively looking for partners to co-develop investment solutions to provide homes for people in need. My interview with Bridget Young (Programme Manager at the Nationwide Foundation) is the second blog in the “Innovation in Homes” series, where I will be highlighting innovative initiatives and partnerships that we have come across. Read my previous interview with London Ventures here.
Last October, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship launched Skoll Academy, a six-week long skills workshop series equipping participants with practical innovation skills to affect social and environmental change. We worked with Big Society Capital to analyse social investment models to address domestic violence in the UK. This blog is an overview of our findings and suggestions.
City of London Corporation has recently launched a new report showing how its Social Investment Fund is changing the lives of thousands of people across the UK including ex-offenders, homeless and those with disabilities. Read the full report here.
"It has been an incredible journey setting up a grant-making trust, effectively a start-up” – writes Barbra Mazur, who runs the Battersea Power Station Foundation, an independent UK charitable body established by the Battersea Power Station shareholders to ensure that the diverse and vibrant South London communities surrounding the Power Station have access to a new source of funding.
Over recent months there has been a flurry of new impact reports from social investors across the UK. It is great that intermediaries are publishing these reports that show what social investment can help achieve but also highlighting some of the challenges and lessons along the way.
It’s gone by seemingly in a blink of an eye, but Access - the Foundation for Social Investment was launched 3 years ago. We then saw Access as a younger sister organisation, learning from the experience of our early days, with a mandate and tools (ie. grant!) to do things that are needed that we could never do.
Everyone in the charity sector is needing to respond to the ‘digital age’. Many organisations, including The Children’s Society (TCS) are embarking on digital transformation or digital maturity programmes, looking at all aspects of an organisation from the technology used by staff through to digital communications with beneficiaries.
Big Society Capital is actively looking for partners to co-develop investment solutions to provide homes for people in need. Our interview with Thomas Man (Head of Capital Ambition at London Councils) kicks off the “Innovation in Homes” blog series, where we will be highlighting innovative initiatives and partnerships that we have come across.
Like many others, I often use anniversaries as an opportunity to celebrate, reflect and recalibrate. I will soon be entering my fourth year at Big Society Capital so it seemed timely to think back to how my work has changed and developed during this period. One area I would like to focus on is the growth of impact investment.
A year ago, a small group of people from around the UK social investment sector created a very special event at Dartington Hall, with the rather sinister sci-fi title of “The Gathering”. Their aim was to bring social investment leaders together, to bond a community, and to generate a sense of common purpose.
In our third data dives into social investment, we look at the revenue sources and business models being used by charities and social enterprises to create, sustain or grow their positive social impact.