The City Bridge Trust, the London grant-making organisation, has launched an inquiry into how to attract more private capital into social investment.
The inquiry, which will be carried out by social business consultancy ClearlySo, will look at what social investment vehicles exist and how much they could attract from different types of investor.
It will also look at whether social investment should be viewed as its own asset class, alongside others such as equities, commodities or hedge funds.
"We want to know what will be needed to get social investment to grow in the City," said Rod Schwartz, chief executive of ClearlySo. "It's a chance to get under the skin of investors and find out what they want from social investment and why they haven't done more.
"We're in the social enterprise centre of the world and the financial centre of the world; we need to get the two to talk one another."
The results of the inquiry will be published in a report in May, said Tim Wilson, principal grants officer at the City Bridge Trust.