voluntary sector

5th Annual Social Investment Forum

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to hear the latest updates on the government’s Social Investment strategy and discuss its future direction. Participants will gain insights from best practice case studies on how to obtain funding for social projects, utilising this funding to build sustainability, create predictable income streams and strengthen financial resilience, whilst maximising social impact.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Voluntary Sector, Social Enterprises and not-for-profit organisations, including:

  • Directors of Finance
  • Heads of Finance
  • Business Development Managers
  • Chief Executives
  • Directors of Strategy and Partnerships
  • Directors of Services
  • Heads of Procurement and Commissioning
  • Heads of Operations
  • Heads of Community and Investment
  • Commercial Directors
  • Investment Managers
  • Funding Managers
  • Policy Advisers and Trustees

This Forum is also open to the private sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Tom Le Quesne, Head, Government Inclusive Economy Unit
  • Senior Representative, Access – The Foundation for Social Investment 
  • Anoushka Kenley, Senior Consultant, New Philanthropy Capital
View the agenda and additional speakers

In 2017, the value of social investment in the UK grew to £2 billion, firmly establishing itself as one of the most advanced social investment markets in the world. In order to maintain this dominance, however, it is vital that accessibility to social investment is increased and outstanding and innovative financial practice is implemented across all charities and social enterprises.

In November 2017, the Expert Advisory Group on Socially Themed Investments published the Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investment in the UK report, which outlined 53 recommendations for the government to further enhance the social investment market by developing a mainstream social investment culture. This built upon the government’s 2016 Social Investment: a Force for Change publication, which set out the government’s 5 year strategy to expand the social investment market.

This announced significant funding attributed to social investment projects and established seven new Government Outcomes Funds for Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). The strategy pledged to make social investment more accessible and to address the legal and regulatory barriers of investment.

In June 2018, the government responded to the Advisory Group’s recommendations for improving social investment with a commitment to bringing social impact investment into the mainstream. This includes plans to create more investment opportunities that address social challenges while also creating financial return, highlighting the social and environmental responsibility of businesses.

As the funding landscape moves away from full reliance on grants and donations, charities and social enterprises are having to adapt to accessing new forms of revenue. Social investment can support charities and social enterprises to develop new financial models and provides the opportunity to become more involved in public service delivery.

It is therefore imperative that charities and social enterprises demonstrate outstanding financial practice, develop innovative finance models and build strong partnerships with investors in order to ensure sustainability and increase access to funding which would allow their organisation to grow.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Stan Beckers, Executive Fellow of Finance, London Business School (invited)


Morning Keynote: Implementing the Government’s Vision for Social Investment

  • Examining the government’s commitment to bring social investment into the mainstream and its role in the Civil Society Strategy, August 2018
  • Exploring practical ways of increasing accessibility to social investment and building platforms between investors and those seeking investment
  • Working in partnership across central government, local government, the voluntary sector and the private sector to grow the social economy
  • Implementing SIBS in the Department for Education, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Sharing insights into how to access government funding to implement social investment bonds

Tom Le Quesne, Head, Government Inclusive Economy Unit (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Enterprise Activity and Improving Access to Social Investment

  • Examining Access’ 2018-2023 strategy, which aims to build on enterprise support within the sector to expand social investment opportunities for charities and social enterprises
  • Outlining the year long pilot programmes – Enterprise Grants and Enterprise Learning – which offer grants of £10,000 for organisations to develop innovative new enterprise models
  • Supporting charities and social enterprises to build on social investment, through the Impact Management Fund, which helps charities to quantify, report on and increase returns on their investment
  • Receiving a further 10 million in funding from the government to develop work in providing blended finance through the Growth Fund, with a particular focus on using social investment to benefit disadvantaged communities
  • Examining different enterprise models and sharing learning on which models work in specific contexts
  • Exploring how some organisations may require early stage seed funding, whereas others may focus more on charity bonds to raise capital

Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive, Access – The Foundation for Social Investment (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Utilising Innovative Forms of Finance to Effectively Tackle Social Problems

  • Understanding Social Impact Bonds and how they act as a partnership between a commissioner, a service provider and an investor to maximise social impact
  • Examining the role of outcomes-based funding: linking financial success to the delivery of measured social outcomes
  • What are the benefits for programmes tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups and what are the costs or disadvantages?
  • Considering when blended models of finance and co-commissioning may offer more effective options
  • Outlining the routes to greater scale, replication and social impact

Rob Pollock, Director, Social Finance (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Successfully Obtaining Government Funding to Deliver Social Impact

  • Outlining the journey of Think Forward to becoming one of the biggest recipients of government funding, receiving almost £650,000 via the Life Chances Fund
  • Sharing best practice in successfully accessing funding to implement their social programme
  • Sharing lessons learnt within the bid process, including challenges encountered and how to overcome these
  • Understanding how to successfully measure and demonstrate social impact
  • Demonstrating a financially sustainable business model whilst simultaneously evidencing positive social impact and sharing guidance on how other social enterprises can replicate this
  • Considering how Think Forward plans to monitor their outcomes and utilise investment to expand their project

Ben Haber, Head of Finance, Performance and Impact, Think Forward (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Increasing Access to Social Investment

  • Outlining the benefits social investment can bring to charities and social enterprises, alongside potential investors
  • Understanding social investment tax relief, including the limits to tax relief, which enterprises can raise SITR investment and the key characteristics of a SITR investment
  • Sharing best practice in sustainable social business models – How to successfully use a ‘payments by results’ contract to repay a social impact bond
  • Exploring the Outcomes Matrix: a tool to support investors and social enterprises in defining, assessing and measuring social investment
  • Considering how charities and social enterprises can effectively compete for public sector contracts, and outlining the benefits this can bring, such as a focus on the needs of beneficiaries

Geetha Rabindrakumar, Head of Social Sector Engagement, Big Society Capital (invited)


Special Keynote: Highlighting the Importance of Measuring the Impact of Social Investment

  • Understanding what ‘impact management’ means, and why it’s important for social investment
  • Providing guidance, resources and tool for organisations to maximise successful outcomes
  • Introducing a framework for investors to assess investees’ impact practice

Anoushka Kenley, Senior Consultant, New Philanthropy Capital (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Structured Task and Discussion: Overcoming Obstacles to Social Investment

  • This session will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss challenges faced and share experiences of social investment to enhance accessibility and understanding of social investment
  • In small groups delegates will discuss issues they face in developing an effective social investment strategy
  • Discussion points can be shared with the wider room through the Slido app, for reference throughout the day, including to discuss further during networking breaks and in the afternoon discussion task
  • Speakers will be able to reflect on the issues highlighted and discuss solutions with delegates
  • All discussion points and ideas shared will be collated and sent out to delegates after the event

Led by Stan Beckers, Executive Fellow of Finance, London Business School (invited)


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Using Social Impact Bonds to Improve the Quality of Public Services

  • Examining Step Down Fostering: a highly successful six year programme launched by Birmingham City Council and funded by a social impact bond
  • Saving the council over £1.7m in savings and maximizing social impact by driving better outcomes for young people, such as improved behaviour and educational attainment
  • Considering how SIBs can allow councils to operate in preventative programmes for example, to reduce the number of children going into care, with an average 70% stability rate achieved across 22 placements
  • Discussing how involving a voluntary organisation, with alternative areas of expertise outside of investment, can establish a more collaborative problem-solving approach
  • Addressing the challenges of SIBs, such as measuring outcomes and increased expenses and considering how Step Down overcame these, by ensuring the investor could bring project management expertise

Narinder Saggu, Head of Service for Children’s Commissioning, Birmingham City Council (invited)


Case Study: Using Community Shares as a Model of Social Investment

  • Outlining how the Chase Community Solar project used community shares to raise investment for free solar panels to be installed on social housing
  • What are community shares and how can they be used to develop community and social enterprises?
  • Raising over £1 million, exceeding the target in 4 months, to produce electricity savings for tenants on lower incomes
  • Understanding the challenges encountered in the community shares model and how CCS overcame them
  • Considering the importance of community shares in developing sustainable solutions to local problems

Richard Baines, Chief Executive, Chase Community Solar (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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