Social investments

Social investments deliver our charitable objectives. They contribute to our long-term purpose of a reduction in poverty and disadvantage.

Why we make social investments

Since 2015, JRF has been making social investments that contribute to our vision for a prosperous UK without poverty.

Our social investments help solve poverty. We help make positive changes, achieving social impacts such as affordable homes, increased employment, low cost finance and affordable energy. Our social investments fulfil an expectation that the money can be returned, so it can be invested again.

For more information on social investment, please contact Denise Holle or Jonathan Levy at [email protected]

Our current social investments

Through to 31 March 2021 we have committed around £13 million to social investments. We've made direct investments into charities and social enterprises. We've also backed affordable housing for people experiencing poverty and hardship. Examples of organisations we've supported include:

Our investment in Fair by Design

Our largest social investment is a £3m commitment to the Fair by Design Venture Fund. Managed by Ascension Ventures, this fund directly invests in early stage ventures which aim to eliminate the poverty premium. This is where people in poverty pay more for the same goods or services such as energy, credit and insurance, than others do. Our co-investors in Fair by Design include Big Society Capital, Social Tech Trust, Comic Relief and Barrow Cadbury.

Alongside the Venture Fund is the Fair by Design Campaign. This is managed by Barrow Cadbury Trust and is supported by a range of grant funders including JRF. The Campaign works with government, regulators, business and the social justice sector. Through this collaboration, it is designing out the poverty premium and raising awareness amongst the public to bring about change.

Full list of our social investments

Here is a list of all of JRF’s social investments (committed funds). This information was last updated in April 2021.

Housing

We have invested a total of £3,275,000 in housing projects.

Project name Project description Our investment
National Homelessness Property Fund £44m national fund to buy property to house formerly homeless people with the support of St Mungos Broadway £500,000
London Community Land Trust £0.45m of development funds for affordable homes in London £100,000
Funding Affordable Homes £44m fund to fund affordable housing and other social purpose property £500,000
York Refugee Housing £0.5m direct investment to purchase homes for refugees in York £500,000
Hartlepool Housing Heroes A loan to purchase and renovate a house for care leavers to refurbish and live in £75,000
ACH £0.5m fund to purchase houses and flats for refugees in Birmingham £200,000
Social and Sustainable Housing Fund £59m fund providing flexible loans to charities for the purchase of properties to house people experiencing poverty and hardship £1,000,000
Micro Rainbow International A loan to fund provision of safe temporary housing for LGBTGI asylum seekers and refugees in the UK £400,000

Employment

We have invested a total of £860,000 in projects to improve employment outcomes.

Project name Project description Our investment
Glasgow Together £2m charity bond to purchase land and derelict property for renovation by ex-offenders £250,000
Timewise Growth capital to enable this flexible working consultancy to expand £250,000
RefuAid Supporting access to licensing or training for refugees in the UK £210,000
WorkerTech (Resolution Foundation) Funding and support to ventures using technology to improve the prospects of workers in low paying jobs £150,000

Community

We have invested a total of £850,000 into community projects.

Project name Project description Our investment
Shared Lives Development funding for replication of innovative, high quality community care schemes nationally £350,000
Nottinghamshire YMCA £3m bond to fund development of a Community & Activity Village in Newark to tackle social and health problems and offer better opportunities locally £500,000

Financial inclusion

We have invested a total of £2,230,000 into widening access to financial services.

Project name Project description Our investment
Leeds Credit Union Subordinated debt to underpin the capital base of this major Yorkshire based credit union £250,000
Fair For You Charity providing loans for white goods and essential household items, as an alternative to high cost rent to buy £500,000
Fair Finance Support for personal microloans in London £130,000
Five Lamps Funding as part of a £5m investment raise to help the North East based micro-lender expand its operations across the UK £500,000
Great Western Credit Union To provide long term patient funds to underpin growth of the credit union’s savings and loans service into underserved areas £350,000
Moneyline A flexible revolving credit facility to support Moneyline’s seasonal cash flow and further extend its provision of affordable loans £500,000

Social impact funds

We have invested a total of £5,000,000 into funds supporting diverse impact enterprises.

Project name Project description Our investment
North East Social Investment Fund £10.2m fund to invest in charities and social enterprises in North East England £500,000
Big Issue Invest SEIF II £22.4m fund to support growth of social enterprises nationally £500,000
Bridges Evergreen Fund £50m fund to hold long term investments in established mission led organisations £500,000
Mustard Seed A managed account to invest in for-profit social businesses tackling UK poverty £500,000
Fair by Design

£10m+ fund managed by Ascension Ventures to invest in solutions addressing the poverty premium

£3,000,000