Finance news: Cash boost for sex health body

Venture philanthropists the Impetus Trust and the Charities Aid Foundation have launched a £275,000 investment collaboration.

The two organisations have selected the black and minority ethnic sexual health charity Naz Project London as their first 'co-investment', but others could follow.

Naz Project London, which provides sexual health and HIV-prevention support services to BME communities in the capital, is to receive £175,000 from Impetus and £100,000 from CAF.

Sixty per cent of Londoners infected with HIV are from BME groups, with the number of African people affected particularly high. More than half of the 35,400 people with the disease in the UK live in London.

The investment package involves capacity-building consultancy as well as grants. The Naz Project has already received a pro bono sector and competition analysis from the strategy consultancy firm OC&C, worth £50,000, which prompted a revision of its business strategy. The organisation will also receive 30 days of free consultancy with the CAF consultants network, including advice on funding, board development and business planning.

"We are convinced that this collaborative model and the lessons we have learnt will have benefits for funders and the charities they support," said Victoria Anderson, head of grant-making at CAF.

"Collaboration throughout the development and implementation of co-investment needs commitment and energy on both sides."

Judith Brodie, chief executive of the Impetus Trust, said the advantage of co-investment for the charity was that it had a relationship with two funders but only one reporting and accountability process.

Impetus has taken the lead in relations with the Naz Project, meeting directors on a monthly basis. CAF representatives can attend whenever they want, but are scheduled to do so only every six months.

Bryan Teixeira, chief executive of the Naz Project, said: "The assessment process has been challenging and supportive, but I am excited by the potential we have to increase our impact on the urgent but little-discussed issue of BME sexual health.

"We know it is vital to communicate in a sensitive way with BME communities; we have the experience and expertise to do that."

- See News Analysis, page 10.

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