Our Social Investments achieve a direct social impact (such as affordable homes, employment, low cost finance, affordable energy) and an expectation that the money can be returned, so it can be invested again. JRF’s definition of poverty is when a person’s resources are not sufficient to meet their basic needs, which includes the need to be part of society. Our social investments help solve poverty.
Why we make social investment
Our approach is to Research, Demonstrate and Influence. We research to understand the causes of poverty. We demonstrate by supporting the solutions identified by our research. We then influence, based on our research and demonstration findings, taking our findings to policy makers and the wider public. Our social investments fit firmly into the middle of this strategy, demonstrating solutions to poverty.
At 31.12.2017 we have committed £11,175,000 to social investment. We have made direct investments into charities and social enterprises such as Glasgow Together, Fair for You and Our Power. We have made investments into specialist funds such as Big Issue Invest and the North East Social Enterprise Fund. We backed affordable housing in the form of the London Community Land Trust and the National Homelessness Property Fund.
The most significant social investment is a £3m commitment to the Fair by Design Venture Programme. This is a fund, managed by Ascension Ventures, which directly invests in for-profit businesses, social enterprises and charities that are aiming to solve the poverty premium. This is where people in poverty pay more for the same goods or services than others do. We have invested alongside other founder investors Big Society Capital and Social Tech Trust in this fund. It has a target size of £15m.
Alongside the Venture Programme is the Change Programme. This aims to take the findings from the investments in the fund, and turn them into advocacy and policy change recommendations. Initial research work at JRF is now being taken forward in an independent programme managed by Barrow Cadbury Trust and supported by a range of grant funders including JRF. The Campaign Programme became operational in 2018.
A full list of our investments can be found below.
Size of investment (£)
|National Homelessness Property Fund||£30m+ national fund to buy property to house formerly homeless people with St Mungos Broadway||500,000|
|London Community Land Trust||£0.45m of development funds for the London CLT for affordable homes in London||100,000|
|Funding Affordable Homes||£44m fund, target size £200m to fund affordable housing and other social purpose property||500,000|
|York Refugee Housing||£0.5m to purchase houses for refugees in York||500,000|
Hartlepool Housing Heroes
|A 25 year loan to purchase and renovate a house for care leavers to refurbish and live in||75,000|
|Ashley Community Housing||£0.2m to fund the purchase of houses and flats for refugees in Birmingham|| |
|Social Impact Funds|
|North East Social Investment Fund||£12m fund to invest in charities and social enterprises in North East||500,000|
|Big Issue Invest SEIF II||£22.4m fund to support growth of social enterprises nationally||500,000|
|Bridges Evergreen Fund||£22.5m fund to hold long term investments in charities and social enterprises||500,000|
A managed account to invest in for-profit social purpose enterprises tackling UK poverty
Fair by Design - making life affordable
|JRF with Big Society Capital and Social Tech Trust to solve the poverty premium, £15m fund target managed by Ascension Ventures||3,000,000|
|Leeds Credit Union||Subordinated debt to underpin the capital base of this major Yorkshire based credit union||250,000|
|Fair for You||Charity to provide loans for white goods and essential household items, as an alternative to high cost rent to buy||500,000|
|Fair Finance Personal Loans||Support for personal microloans in London||130,000|
Funds towards a £5m investment raise to help grow the leading North East based micro-lender expand its operations across the UK
|Fair Finance Business Loans||Support for microbusiness loans||50,000|
|Street UK||Investment to loan portfolio (repaid in full)||250,000|
|Bristol Credit Union||To provide long term patient funds to underpin growth of the credit union’s savings and loans service into underserved areas of Bristol|| |
A flexible revolving credit facility to support Moneyline’s seasonal cash flow and further extend its provision of affordable loans
|Social Investment Scotland||To back Carnegie UK’s affordable credit initiative and contribute to a microfinance wholesale fund initially in Scotland but ultimately more widely across the UK||500,000|
|Other social investments|
|Shared Lives||Development funding for replication of shared lives schemes nationally||350,000|
|Our Power||Provision of affordable energy||500,000|
|Project Snowball||Collective management of social investments across trusts and foundations creating a pooled fund||20,000|
|Glasgow Together||£2m charity bond to purchase land and derelict property for renovation by ex offenders||250,000|
|Total Social Investment Portfolio||11,025,000|
Interested in social investment?
For more information on social investment, visit the Good Finance website. This includes background information, case studies and a list of advisors and providers of social investment.