Homeless International has changed its name to reall as part of a rebrand it hopes will reflect its change in strategy from operating as an international development charity to working as a social enterprise.
The charity unveiled its name, which stands for Real Equity for All, at an event to mark the rebrand in London yesterday. The charity said the rebrand, which also involves a new logo and a revamped website, cost it less than £25,000.
Reall, which was established in 1989 as Homeless International, told Third Sector last month that it was changing its model from that of a traditional development charity and had started offering loans to its African and Asian partner organisations to enable them to build homes in poor communities.
The charity said that it had provided more than £20m of funds to partner organisations – all of which were active in the housing sector or development in general – in the first eight months of this year. The partners build houses, then sell or rent them, with micro-mortgages offered to poor people who want to buy.
Reall’s partners receive a small amount of the interest from the sale, with the invested capital eventually returning to the charity to be reinvested with partner organisations.
The charity will also start to raise some of its funding by issuing bonds. It will launch a programme of crowdfunding for some of its projects and seek investors among its partner NGOs.
It previously relied on grants from the Department for International Development, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and Comic Relief to fund its projects, which it passed on to its partners. A spokeswoman said that the charity would continue to be funded by DfID, the SIDA and Comic Relief for the foreseeable future.
Since 2010, reall’s annual funding has increased tenfold to more than £20m. In 2013/14, the charity had an income of £11.7m.
Through the changes, which will take place over the next two years, reall plans to expand the number of countries and partners with which it works. It is creating a cloud-based banking and software system for use by all of its partners, makign it easier to assist them when financial or technical difficulties arise.
Larry English, chief executive of reall, said in a statement that the charity believed private commercial finance had an important role to play in building the communities and markets of the future.