Futurebuilders asks for ideas for fresh services

Futurebuilders England is to ask charities what new products they would like to see it develop as it prepares to offer a wider variety of financial services.

The £215m Government-backed fund, which provides financial support to charities that want to win contracts to run public services, is considering launching a number of new funds and lending models over the next year.

The new types of funding Futurebuilders is considering include quasi-equity, whereby loan repayments do not follow a fixed schedule but are partly based on a project's profits.

Quasi-equity loan funding could range from £100,000 to £5m and would be offered primarily to start-up organisations or those developing new projects and income streams.

Futurebuilders is also considering developing two new specialist funds - a management development fund to help charities when they hire top staff and a partnership fund that will encourage charities to work together in order to improve their chances of winning contracts.

Futurebuilders is also seeking ideas for other new financing concepts that the third sector would like to see it develop.

"We're interested in a whole host of different ideas," said Gill Nunn, market development director at Futurebuilders. "We're researching the ones that are most promising.

"Having a customer-led development strategy is absolutely vital, and Futurebuilders needs to do that as much as possible. There is a lot of creative thinking in the sector that we need to harness."

A new section on the Futurebuilders website gives charities the chance to offer their thoughts on the issue.

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