Venturesome wants to lend more of major donors' cash

More trust holders 'likely to be willing to provide social investment'

Venturesome, the social lending arm of the Charities Aid Foundation, is hoping to increase dramatically the proportion of money held in major donors' giving accounts that is available for social finance purposes.

CAF trusts accept large Gift-Aided donations from individuals for distribution to charities in due course. The trusts hold about £550m from about 2,500 donors. Venturesome wants to increase the proportion of this money that is channelled into social investments and will approach trust holders to ask if their money could be made available for loans.

John Kingston, director of Venturesome, said CAF trust holders had already invested about £2.5m through Venturesome - about 20 per cent of the organisation's total funds. But he said he thought more trust holders would be willing to provide support.

Venturesome would decide which charities to lend to, Kingston said, but it would provide reports to trust holders on the social benefits their money provided.

"People would know who their money has been lent to and what has been done with it," he said. "People would give it to us to lend - if it came back, they could choose to donate it to a charity of their choice. We can't guarantee we will return people's money. But in practice, almost all of the money we lend does come back to us."

Kingston said the programme had so far received good feedback from trust holders about both the charities that had been backed and the contribution to building the market.

He said major donors were an obvious source of funds to grow the social investment sector. "These people are the target and the challenge," he said. "They will bring independent capital into this market."

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