"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.
Big Society Capital and Guy’s & St Thomas Charity are interested to explore enterprise solutions to childhood obesity, and how philanthropy and social investment could help scale socially impactful enterprises in this area.
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.