Charities in London can bid for part of £500k pot to support social investment

Money from the Stepping Stones Fund, run by the City Bridge Trust, will be available in two separate strands

London charities can bid for funds
London charities can bid for funds

London charities are being invited to bid for a share of a £500,000 pot to help them get the skills and infrastructure needed to generate income through social investment.

The funding is being offered as part of the latest wave of grants from the Stepping Stones Fund, a collaboration between the City Bridge Trust and the financial services company UBS.

Charities, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest companies, exempt and excepted charities and cooperatives will all be eligible to apply for grants if they serve beneficiaries who live in the Greater London area.

Grants will be available in two strands. The first will offer funding for capacity building, providing organisations with human, financial and strategic assistance to enhance their investment-readiness and long-term financial stability.

The second will fund organisations to pilot new projects, business models partnerships, ways of working or ways of measuring complex outcomes, which should lay the path for them to use social investment for further expansion or development.

There is no minimum amount organisations can apply for and the maximum single grant available is £50,000, although the fund will not give an organisation more than 50 per cent of its total income revenue.

Alison Gowman, chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust committee, said: "We understand it takes hard work to develop a new market and the simple provision of capital is rarely enough to encourage the quality and diversity of product to emerge.

"We are very excited about the latest round of Stepping Stones, which has opened for applications today, and we look forward to receiving applications from organisations that are looking to step into the social investment market."

The deadline to apply for funding is 10 May 2017, and more details on submitting an application can be found on the City Bridge Trust website.

Meanwhile, the grant-maker the Edge Fund has also opened its first funding round of 2017, offering £40,000 to about 30 grass-roots groups that campaign against injustice.

Grants of up to £3,000 will be available to small organisations in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England that challenge abuses of power and aim to change society by bringing an end to the systems that cause injustice.

The average income of the organisations that have received grants from the Edge Fund has been £2,500 a year, and the fund has never given money to an organisation with an income of more than £25,000 a year.

The deadline for applications is 17 April and more details about applying can be found on the Edge Fund website.

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