Finance News: Charities 'must be open to unorthodox finance'

A clinging to orthodoxy among charity investment managers and finance directors is restricting the growth of mission-related investment, consultant David Carrington told the Charity Accountants conference yesterday.

But he claimed the sector was in transition and that in ten years' time a diverse funding environment would be "well-established" in the voluntary sector.

In mission- or programme-related investment, a charity uses loans, underwriting or equity to support projects that further its aims. It is not officially classed as "investment" by the Charity Commission, so it is not subject to the same rules on maximising returns.

Carrington told the Directory of Social Change finance conference: "Orthodoxy is strong among charity investment managers and advisers, so they resist the possibility of opening up mission-related investment opportunities." He called upon charities to try out new forms of finance and "resist collusion with perverse grant systems".

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