Social Investment Market – Live Blog

Here is where you’ll find the social investment market live blog.  The various new models of income available to the voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

Even with the best reputation in the world, sometimes you still need to blow your own trumpet. Rachel Kirby-Rider tells how Samaritans learnt this lesson.

Nov 28 – 16.26 – George

Rachel Kirby Rider says the Samaritans are a quintessentially British organisation. “We don’t like asking for money because it’s not the done thing.”

Nov 28 – 16.24 – George

Up next: Rachel Kirby-Rider from the Samaritans, on the subject “Developing a fundraising strategy at a volunteer-led organisation. The Smaritans has some 20,000 volunteers manning their phone lines and talking to people who are suicidal, and doing other jobs in the organisation as well. There’s a huge amount of “buy-in, consultation and headache” involved in the work they do, she says.

Nov 28 – 16.18 – George

Live Theatre in Newcastle is one of the projects the Esmé Fairbairn Foundation has funded. Bristol Together is another.

Nov 28 – 16.07 – George

That’s these guys: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Nov 28 – 15.57 – George

We’re in the final plenary session for today. About to hear from Dawn Austwick of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and Rachel Kirby-Rider of the Samaritans. Dawn’s up first; starting by giving a brief run down pf what her charity does.

Nov 28 – 15.55 – George

During the design session, delegates were given an “emotional map” exercise to do. You can find it here.

Nov 28 – 15.35 – George

ELDP forums:

Nov 28 – 14.51 – Steve Lawson

Virginia talking about the Early Language Development Programme

Nov 28 – 14.49 – Steve Lawson

What I CAN do for Early Years:

Nov 28 – 14.42 – Steve Lawson

John describes how to cost people time into projects – there are 1100 hours of service delivery available a year.  Rule of thumb – each person gives 5 hours of service delivery (out of a 7 hour day) – equates in his organisation to £45 per hour.  He argues it would be good for everyone to have an idea of these kinds of costs.

Nov 28 – 14.40 – briancondon

from – “About Speech, Language & Communication Needs (SLCN)

Nov 28 – 14.40 – Steve Lawson

I CAN’s work:

Increasing public awareness

information and advice to parents and families

assessments for children

two specialist schools

programmes, training and interventions giving the workforce and families skills to help children communicate



Nov 28 – 14.36 – Steve Lawson

Virginia Beardshaw, Chief Executive, I CAN up now – a client of Impetus Trust.

I CAN is a children’s communication charity. “No child left out, or left behind because of a problem speaking or understanding”.

Nov 28 – 14.34 – Steve Lawson

early years initiative – the need:
 early years initiative from @impetustrust #sfp2012 on Twitpic

Nov 28 – 14.32 – Steve Lawson

Success factors:
 success factors for @impetustrust #sfp2012 on Twitpic

Nov 28 – 14.26 – Steve Lawson

Julia talking about their support for the IntoUniversity project:

Nov 28 – 14.23 – Steve Lawson

‘we must be prepared to work together to measure outcomes to improve the service as we go forward’. Julia Grant

Nov 28 – 14.17 – Steve Lawson

Impetus website –

What is Venture Philanthropy?

Nov 28 – 14.15 – Steve Lawson

Julia Grant “this session is about describing the investor/client relationship. When I use the word ‘charities’ I mean not-for-profits. What does Impetus do – we use a technique called ‘venture philanthropy’ – using the business approach of setting milestones to help improvements and social impact.

We’re the pioneers of venture philanthropy in the UK. We identify promising charities who can work with us to scale up their reach, income and impact, and break the cycle of disadvantage.

Nov 28 – 14.12 – Steve Lawson

Practical workshop session starting now -

Impact investment for ambitious charities
Working with venture philanthropists can be a highly rewarding experience, beyond financial incentives.  This kind of relationship can bring different benefits to one with a more traditional grant funder, with highly motivated donors looking to invest in and actively support innovative, dynamic organisations for social return.
This practical workshop will show you how the Impetus Trust’s pioneering approach can help you get the most out of venture philanthropy: building skills for financial sustainability; creating robust systems to manage your resources effectively; and identifying and accessing new income streams.

Chair: Julie Ward, Sustainable Funding Officer, NCVO
Julia Grant, Portfolio Director, Impetus Trust and Virginia Beardshaw, Chief Executive, I CAN

Who is this session for?
Organisations wanting to understand more about the venture philanthropy approach and how venture philanthropists help charities to become more financially robust and sustainable.

Nov 28 – 14.10 – Steve Lawson

AM 8 – When does innovation become an investment? Turning inspiration into proposition.

More information on the specific grant fund mentioned -

10 million pound grant fund, particularly to support organisations that are ready to go out and find investment. Grants of between 50 and 150,000 to develop a proposition and take it to the investors.

Useful websites:

Nov 28 – 13.05 – Miranda Ward

AM 8 – When does innovation become an investment? Turning inspiration into proposition.

Comment from audience member on the private-sector language that’s been used in the session:

I’m looking at social investment as an opportunity, not a threat – but does it not behove us to come up with a language that we share? If we import wholesale the language of the City, do we risk attracting the wrong type of investor? Can we try to get to a language that we’re all comfortable with?

Nov 28 – 12.49 – Miranda Ward

AM 8 – When does innovation become an investment? Turning inspiration into proposition.

Burger Edwards, Director of Business Development & Finance for Cambridge House, talking about his experience with social investment:

What was crucial for us was working with the investor, having a critical friend all along the way, challenging us about assumptions and predictions. That’s crucial.

Key success factors – working with the social investment business all along. That gave our trustees a very good reality check; there was someone not involved int he organisation, not passionate about what we’re doing, but kept a good eye on future planning. A second element is that I would say to organisations: be extremely careful before you take on these type of things. Can I use an analogy? We don’t need to own the cow to serve the milk. We don’t need twenty organisations like ours in the local area. We probably only need two or three. The sooner we as a sector can join hands and support the facilities that are there the better. The important thing is to consider: how do we serve our clientele best? So for instance, what will Cambridge House has to offer a potential socio-investor? We have to convince them that investing in poverty is a good thing to do.

Nov 28 – 12.41 – Miranda Ward

AM 8 – When does innovation become an investment? Turning inspiration into proposition.

Burger Edwards, Director of Business Development & Finance for Cambridge House, talking about his experience with social investment:

The most important thing…was to come up with a business plan that stuck out. We also had to look critically at every aspect of how we work as an organisation – not just our organisations, but those that work with us. The journey started there for us. What was important was to keep in mind: where do we want to get to? There was a sense of urgency; the biggest risk for us was doing nothing.

Nov 28 – 12.36 – Miranda Ward

AM 8 – When does innovation become an investment? Turning inspiration into proposition.

So broadly, what are investors looking for in a social enterprise in order to feel confident about investing?

5 areas that we might want to look at:

1) The leadership of the organisation – the executive and the board. Do the leaders understand the market, the environment in which they’re operating? Do they have the capacity to build relationships with commissioners and other funders? We also want to understand internal and external communication skills. We want to also see resilience and adaptability in the leadership style.

2) And as well as the character of the leaders, we want to know that the revenue model is robust and adaptable. Is it coherent with where the market’s headed? Are the risks understood? Reasonable mitigations and plans to respond as things change?

3) In addition to financial modelling, we want to understand that there are robust financial controls and system. Appropriate authority and authorisaiton?

4) I talked about governance climate in terms of people on board – there’s also the delegation of authority to consider, and succession planning – who will be the next chair, how will the board be refreshed, are there skill gaps?

5) And finally we want assurance around compliance that the organisation would need to adhere to. We really want to understand the performance and quality culture in the organisation. W’ere an intermediary, balancing investor and investee needs, so our investors want to understand the impact of the investments they’re making.

Nov 28 – 12.30 – Miranda Ward
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