Social Finance

Good practice, case studies, expert advice and tips on social finance for voluntary sector leaders, managers and finance professionals.

Don Bawtree: Charities should report on culture

Don Bawtree: Charities should report on culture

Whether or not a social investment is being made is determined by the motivation of the charity, so the definition is wide, writes our columnist

Cliff Prior: Thinking Big

Cliff Prior: Thinking Big

Social investment has been much hyped in recent years, but it remains an enigma to many. The new chief executive of the social investment wholesaler Big Society Capital tells Liam Kay how he intends to demystify this market

What is the truth about social investment, asks Craig Dearden-Phillips

What is the truth about social investment, asks Craig Dearden-Phillips

Despite limited success so far, the sector should hang in there with social finance, argues the founder of Stepping Out

Social Investment: Is it going to thrive?

Social Investment: Is it going to thrive?

The Conservative Party made much of its plans for social investment in its election manifesto - so how is that coming along? Sam Burne James and Stephen Cook examine the state of play

Tim Wilson's tips on social investment

Tim Wilson's tips on social investment

Clarify your aims, involve the trustees and use intermediaries, says the grants and social investment officer at the City Bridge Trust

'Profit with purpose': the dispute over doing well while doing good

'Profit with purpose': the dispute over doing well while doing good

Is it possible to lock social goals into the structure of for-profit businesses? The questions has polarised opinion among proponents of the social economy, as Stephen Cook reports

Legal Update: New scheme for social investment tax relief

Legal Update: New scheme for social investment tax relief

Adrian Pashley provides an overview of recent developments in voluntary sector law, on behalf of the Charity Law Association

Rodney Schwartz: How mainstream investors react to talk of social impact

Rodney Schwartz: How mainstream investors react to talk of social impact

The notion that a fund might deliver social returns can lead to suspicion about its financial performance - so sometimes it pays to keep quiet about them, writes our columnist

Rodney Schwartz: A funny thing happened at the conference in Monaco

Rodney Schwartz: A funny thing happened at the conference in Monaco

An announcement from the Swedish government on pension funds and carbon footprints came as a surprise, writes our columnist

Social investment: Nick Hurd says the aim is 'turn reality to mainstream'

Social investment: Nick Hurd says the aim is 'turn reality to mainstream'

Sam Burne James assesses the political status of social investment and how the market can move forward

Points of law: Clarity on social investment

Points of law: Clarity on social investment

Legal experts, including Jonathan Brinsden of Bircham Dyson Bell, have generally welcomed the Law Commission's proposal for a new power to guide trustees on tax matters - but there are still questions to be answered, finds Sam Burne James

Why the social impact bond at Peterborough prison is being halted

Why the social impact bond at Peterborough prison is being halted

The decision not to continue the pilot scheme for reducing reoffending has put SIBs under fresh scrutiny. Edward Lander and Stephen Cook report

Has the social investment flagship sailed off course?

Has the social investment flagship sailed off course?

The Peterborough social impact bond pilot achieved much of what it set out to do, but the main failure has been in influencing the commissioners, writes Nick Temple

Tempted by banks? Social investors are the better bet

Tempted by banks? Social investors are the better bet

To build a new financial market means supporting investors who take a long-term, values-oriented and client-centred view. Not-for-profits should resist the temptation of attractive rates at high-street banks, writes Rodney Schwartz

Social investment's future will be more cross-sectoral

Social investment's future will be more cross-sectoral

There seems to be to be an increasing understanding that tackling large, intractable problems relies on previously siloed sectors working together, writes Nick Temple

Investors' motivations are not what you might expect

Investors' motivations are not what you might expect

Social impact can be just as important as the bottom line, says the chief executive of ClearlySo, which helps social entrepreneurs raise capital

Social investment should break through this year

Social investment should break through this year

There has been some progress in making social investment less London-centric, writes Nick Temple

Social finance works when building skills is included

Social finance works when building skills is included

Charities don't seem to be convinced of the potential social finance presents, writes Caron Bradshaw

Two very different events show strength in breadth

Two very different events show strength in breadth

This mix of inclusivity and meaning is the key to democratising social investment, writes Nick Temple

Weighing the pros and cons of 'supping with the devil'

Weighing the pros and cons of 'supping with the devil'

Rodney Schwartz asks how entrepreneurial a social entrepreneur can be

Let there be light on the world of social enterprise

Let there be light on the world of social enterprise

Transparency can help us all to see our own areas to improve, as well as those of others, writes Nick Temple

Analysis: Social impact bonds take small steps in early years

Analysis: Social impact bonds take small steps in early years

Fledgling projects such as Teens and Toddlers might be a template for funding of work by smaller charities

Angel investors will tide us over as institutions grow

Angel investors will tide us over as institutions grow

There are thousands of high net worth people ready and willing to back social entrepreneurs, writes our columnist

Interview: David Hutchinson

Interview: David Hutchinson

The chief executive of Social Finance says it is developing more than just social impact bonds

We must get investors onto the ladder of social finance

We must get investors onto the ladder of social finance

In social finance, there are 'purists' and 'ladderists', according to Rodney Schwartz

A welcome tax incentive: now the hard work starts

A welcome tax incentive: now the hard work starts

The incentive could be another part of the jigsaw that helps get appropriate finance to organisations that need it to continue their work, writes Nick Temple

Social investment is a large tent that is broadly defined

Social investment is a large tent that is broadly defined

Any attempt to define the sector will falter, because the meaning of 'social' is highly subjective, writes Rodney Schwartz

We're not grey - it's time we displayed our true colours

We're not grey - it's time we displayed our true colours

We need to go beyond society's traditional perception of finance professionals and gain some appreciation for the creative contributions we make, writes Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group

How to bridge the gap in the social investment market

How to bridge the gap in the social investment market

We should look more closely at the technological and peer-to-peer models that are disrupting mainstream finance, rather than replicating that mainstream, writes Nick Temple

Projects within reach of success still need our help

Projects within reach of success still need our help

If a social enterprise fails near the finish line, it is tragic and undermines all the capital invested, says Rodney Schwartz, chief executive of ClearlySo, which helps social entrepreneurs raise capital