The Charity Commission has just released its report “Charity and Investment Matters: A guide for Trustees.” This guidance gives a very clear go-ahead for charities, trusts and foundations to explore social investment alongside their traditional grants and funding streams. This is good news.
Alongside my non-executive portfolio, I have joined Social Finance part-time to research a pilot Investor Advisory Service. CC14 could lead to an increased demand from trustees and others for independent advice on social instrument propositions and strategy. Financial advisers currently focus on mainstream investment. Will foundations require similar advice when it comes to the identification, screening and execution of social investment? The potential for social investment is huge but investor confidence is key for this market to develop.
The pilot is being supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Panahpur Trust and others. Social Finance is hosting this project, but we envisage that once a business model has been developed, it will be rolled out as an independent service. We also plan to launch a practical guide to social investment for charitable trusts and foundations early next year.
After leaving Venturesome in July, it’s great to be back working in an entrepreneurial team and to be working on a project to develop the market. We will be out and about in the market over the next two months researching the idea – and that too is good, working again with friends and colleagues committed to building a robust and responsible market.
By John Kingston, Project Director – Investor Advisory at Social Finance