voluntary sector

Maximising the Impact of Social Investment

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Central Manchester

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only


This Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to assess the government’s commitment to increase social investment in the UK. Attendees will discuss with sector leaders the opportunities presented by social investment and how to access funding. In addition, best practice case studies will share guidance on successfully attracting investment and utilising social impact bonds to enhance social initiatives and propel charity growth.


This Forum is designed for the Voluntary Sector, Social Enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. Key job titles include:

  • Directors of Resources
  • Directors of Finance
  • Heads of Finance
  • Fundraising Managers
  • 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:
  • Melanie Mills, Social Sector Engagement Director, Big Society Capital
  • Nicola Pritchard, Consultant, New Philanthropy Capital
  • Ian Taylor, Director of Development, GMCVO
  • Matt Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Key Fund
View the agenda and additional speakers

Social Investment in the UK is worth a significant £2.3 billion, according to the 2018 report by Big Society Capital, signalling a 50% increase since 2015. The outstanding impact that social investment can have on charities and social enterprises to allow these organisations to grow and create a bigger impact within their local communities means that social investment is vital to increasing the impact of that the organisations activities can have on their local communities. 

The Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK report was published in 2017 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This report outlined recommendations for increasing social investment in 5 key action areas such as Improving deal flow and the ability to invest at scale and developing better reporting for non-financial outcomes. The other recommendations cover the areas of maintaining momentum and cohesion across initiatives, making it easier for people to invest and strengthen competence within the financial services industry. 

In response to this industry-led report the government has committed to increasing the amount of work being carried out in partnership with the UK financial industry in order to encourage investments. The government released a response to the Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK report in 2018 which outlines a clear set of aims and priorities going forward including identifying and removing barriers to successful investment through partnering with social impact investors to improve social outcomes. Additionally, £3 million in funding was announced in May 2018 to support creative industries across the Northern Powerhouse to deliver initiatives which maximise social impact in line with the wider aims of the Industrial Strategy.

In August 2018, the government published its Civil Society Strategy which pledged an additional £35 million of funding to Big Society Capital and the Access Foundation to develop new models of funding. The government announced at the Budget 2018 that they would call for evidence on Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), which is a tax relief for individuals who are investing into social enterprises and charities. This call for evidence closes on the 17th July 2019, however, current figures show that £9.2 million of investment has been raised through SITR since 2014. 

With the voluntary sector having to diversify its income streams, due to the previous reliance on grants, it is vital that charities and social enterprises are able to find innovate ways of securing funding and building partnerships across the voluntary sector to ensure they are able to grow and increase the social impact that they have.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Carol Botten, Chief Executive, Voluntary Organisation’s Network North East (invited)


Morning Keynote: Exploring the Current Landscape of Social Investment

  • Outlining what is meant by social investment and what types of social investment are available to charities and social enterprises
  • Discussing Big Society Capitals new social investment programme, Local Access, which aims to reduce poverty and inequality by supporting charities and social enterprises
  • Sharing guidance on what to focus on when considering social investment as a funding option, such as presenting the impact of programmes effectively and assessing the full cost of social investment
  • Highlighting the support that Big Society Capital provides to charities including engaging with key investors and fund managers to facilitate the use of social investment 
  • Exploring the various forms of social investment including debt and equity, and how to decide which form of social investment is best for social enterprises and charities

Melanie Mills, Social Sector Engagement Director, Big Society Capital (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Accessing Government Funding to Deliver Creative Projects Across the North

  • Exploring how Key Fund will distribute the Government’s £3 Million Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund and sharing guidance on how charities and social enterprises can access this funding 
  • Outlining the important impact that creative organisations can have in the north and how this fund will allow charities and social enterprises to create meaningful social impact
  • Highlighting how Key Fund shares guidance and investment advice through the enterprise toolbox which provides social enterprises with practical templates to gain social investment
  • Sharing guidance from best practice case studies that have sought social investment to grow and become self sufficient whilst providing essential social impact

Matt Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Key Fund (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Successfully Obtaining Funding from the Life Chances Fund

  • Highlighting how Lancashire County Council successfully obtained a social impact bond of over £2 million to reduce the number of young people entering the care system 
  • Exploring the application process undertaken by Lancashire County Council to apply for an outcomes based commissioning social impact bond 
  • Outlining how the council intends to utilise this funding to improve the care by trying to avoid the unnecessary entry of children into care 
  • Sharing guidance on setting clear metrics to measure the impact of improvement made to the Edge of Care Programme, including payment metrics, non-payment metrics and local social value metrics 

Sally Allen, Head of Safeguarding, Inspection and Audit, Lancashire County Council (invited)


Case Study: Utilising Social Impact Bonds to Fund the Delivery of Social Projects

  • Exploring what constitutes a social impact bond and how these utilise outcomes based commissioning to deliver the desired social outcome
  • Discussing how Power2 became the first charity to effectively deliver their outcomes and return investor capital through utilising a social impact bond
  • Highlighting the impact that this programme has had, including involving 1300 young people in the project from across Greater Manchester
  • Outlining how the Social Impact Bond investment of £3.25 million will be repaid through a payment-by-results contract and how this will impact Power2’s revenue model

Samantha Marcus, Head of Operations, North West, Power2 (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Working in Partnership to Deliver Support and Funding to Social Enterprises and Charities

  • Working in partnership with voluntary, public and private organisations to strengthen the local voluntary sector to promote social, economic and political inclusion 
  • Exploring how the GMCVO represents the views of the local voluntary organisations in order to build relationships with other sectors by working with local, regional and national support organisations 
  • Highlighting how GMCVO is delivering the Growth Fund through investments of between £10,000 and £50,000 to social enterprises and charities within Greater Manchester 
  • Outlining how charities and social enterprises can apply for funding from the Growth Fund to enhance the impact that their organisation can have 

Ian Taylor, Director of Development, GMCVO (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Outlining a Practical Framework for Assessing the Impact of Social Investment

  • Outlining what is meant by impact management and why it is important to measure impact to ensure that this can be directly managed to produce the biggest social impact
  • Exploring the use of the Impact Risk Classification (IRC) framework for comparing impact practices for social investments and demonstrating how this will increase transparency
  • Highlighting the key benefits of the ICR framework, including the applications for assessing all investments and allowing organisations to compare funders
  • Understanding the importance of being able to compare impact-led enterprises, and how this framework helps to analyse the quality and scale of the impact that they have achieved

Nicola Pritchard, Consultant, New Philanthropy Capital (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Bringing Together the Public, Private and Third Sector Through Social Investment to Deliver Better Public Services

  • Exploring how Capacity received funding to tackle some of the wider issues that are impacting public services in the north and across the UK
  • Highlighting how Capacity aimed to help public services by making public contracts more widely accessible to organisations, and support the start up and growth of local voluntary community and social enterprises (VCSE)
  • Discussing how this initiative helped to support growth across the Merseyside Region by enabling local organisations to diversify their income through the delivery of public sector contracts
  • Examining how Capacity works with local authorities, such as Wirral, to introduce a Collective Impact Model to achieve social change

Chris Catterall, Chief Executive, Capacity- The Public Services Lab (invited)


Case Study: Utilising Community Shares to Deliver Social Impact

  • Outlining what community shares are and how they can become an innovative method of social investment to help charities to expand
  • Exploring how Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) benefited from utilising community shares to fund their first four sites
  • Understanding how GMCR raised over £186,000 to install solar panels on schools to help these institutions reduce costs and their carbon footprint
  • Highlighting key methods for promoting the share offer scheme by attending local community festivals and featuring on local radio stations
  • Discussing how raising social investment through community shares can help to raise awareness within the local community about current social issues, such as renewable energy
  • Sharing guidance on how GMCR were able to overcome the challenges of sourcing community buyers  

Ali Abbas, Director, Greater Manchester Community Renewables Ltd (GMCR) (invited)


Case Study: Creating Financial Inclusion Through Social Investment and Measuring the Impact of Social Lending

  • Exploring how Moneyline received funding of £1.5 million to scale their operations and extend the reach of their services to provide affordable, sustainable loans for customers
  • Discussing how the social impact of Moneyline has been measured, including the number of people reached, the improvement in standards of living for customers and the financial stability of the project
  • Highlighting how evidencing social impact has helped Moneyline to receive additional funding to meet its social mission of relieving poverty through financial inclusion 
  • Outlining how Moneyline transitioned away from grant dependent growth to attract social investment and the challenges this presented such as addressing the gap between the price of the product for customers and the cost of delivery 

Diane Burridge, Chief Executive Officer, Moneyline (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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