The charity, which had an income of £54m in 2004, is hoping to establish itself by 2010 as a major force in the provision of care for people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer and brain injuries.
"This is a very significant move forward for Sue Ryder Care and one that will change substantially the way the charity operates," said John Oldham, chairman of Sue Ryder Care.
The charity has raised the £40m through a combination of fundraising and shedding services it no longer wants to provide, such as care homes for elderly people. Some of the money will come from its reserves.
Sue Ryder is planning five new projects, including a £10m neuro-rehabilitation service in Cambridgeshire, to be run in partnership with the NHS.
The charity expects to take on a number of new statutory contracts, but only if full cost recovery is assured. Its public sector contracts are currently underfunded by £7m a year.