Many communities in the UK face persistent and entrenched social issues. These issues have been exacerbated by a decline in public spending, leading to deterioration of community cohesion and engagement, weakened socio-economic outcomes, as well as a general lack of empowerment to affect change.
The Community Investment Fund makes sustainable investments in locally-led community organisations to build their long term financial viability and increase their ability to deliver significant social impact in their communities. It has a clear focus on targeting outcomes around community engagement and cohesion.
Social Key Performance Indicators are agreed with each investee as a way to evidence progress against social outcomes over the life of the investment. Indicators are set in a collaborative manner with investees and include quantitative and qualitative information relating to how investees are supporting livelihoods and communities. Data relating to direct outcomes, wider impact and alignment will be collected over the life of the fund. In time, the fund will produce a regular impact report. The Fund will learn from the data, using it to inform future investment decisions, and draw conclusions about investments into organisations with similar social aims.
The fund offers long-dated and flexible investment to charities and regulated social enterprises in England. The beneficiaries are the general public, however the Fund will target investments that support more marginalised, excluded and vulnerable groups.
Types of investees include:
- community enterprises trading for a local social purpose and reinvesting profits back into their businesses;
- community assets (land or buildings) owned or being purchased by community enterprises, capable of generating a surplus that can be re-invested into activities that benefit the community; and
- locally-led social sector organisations, meeting the needs of their local beneficiaries using a financially sustainable model.
The fund is managed by Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and is innovatively structured as an open-ended evergreen fund, which means it has an indefinite life. The Fund is anchored by Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business Foundation (SIB). The fund will aim to attract additional funding in order to further support charities and social enterprises.