Why does SASC invest in charities and social enterprises?
We want to help charities and social enterprises deliver sustainable solutions to social issues. We do this by providing them with investment that will allow them to grow and to help those most in need in our society today. We think that greater access to the right kind of finance makes charities and social enterprises better able to tackle large scale problems such as poverty, homelessness and unemployment.
What is social investment?
Social investment is the use of repayable finance to achieve a social as well as a financial return. There are a number of useful resources where you can find out more about social investment, such as the platform called Good Finance. It has been set up to help social sector organisations navigate the world of social investment and contains a lot of useful information about the market, types of investment, investors and case studies.
Is my organisation eligible for investment?
Your organisation must be a registered charity, community interest company (CIC) or other regulated social sector organisation. Other incorporated entities with evidence of embedded social mission may be eligible but will need to comply with Big Society Capital's governance agreement. Our Community Investment Fund supports organisations based in England that are focused on and led by their local community. The Third Sector Investment Fund and our new Social & Sustainable Housing fund can invest in social sector organisations across the UK. Eligible organisations across both all funds will have to demonstrate: a clear social mission with significant measurable, direct outcomes; a strong management with proven capability to deliver; a robust business plan and financial projections; a clear demonstration of how investment repayment will be made and good corporate governance. See Our Funds for more information.
What type of funding is available from SASC?
SASC can provide loans and quasi-equity funding such as revenue participation notes. Our investments are tailored to the needs of the organisations we finance and can be used for financing specific projects, investing in staff and other overheads, developing a new product or service, buying and/or developing property, supporting payment by results (PBR) programmes and other contracts as well as bridging finance. Length of available loans varies between the funds (up to 10 years for the Third Sector Investment and Social & Sustainable Housing funds and longer-term support from our Community Investment Fund).
What happens once I've submitted my application to SASC?
During an initial phone call, we will check your eligibility and the overall viability of your project. Once it progresses to the next stage, we will ask for further information including a more detailed business plan, your most recent audited accounts, financial projections, more information about your team, social impact and how you measure it (or intend to measure it). We will also arrange a site visit to your organisation to meet your management team and see your work first hand. The final phase of due diligence will include agreeing the terms of our potential investment before we submit our proposal to the SASC investment committee for approval.
What happens at the investment committee meeting?
Our investment committee meets once a month. Proposals are discussed and on occasions we will invite your management team to come and present to our investment committee panel. The discussion will focus on understanding the social impact of your organisation and how our investment will help to increase it, as well as assessing the financial risks of the proposed investment. Our investment committee will either approve or reject the proposal, and in some cases, they may ask for additional information before approving an investment.
How long does the due diligence process take?
The length of the due diligence process will depend on how readily available the information we will need for our analysis is. At the beginning of the process we will give you a clear indication of what will be needed. On average the process from application to approval takes two months, although it can be quicker than that.
What do you mean by social impact reporting?
If you have taken on an investment from SASC you will need to regularly report on your social impact throughout the life of the investment so that we can understand how it is helping you achieve the social outcomes you are targeting. We can provide support to establish the framework needed for this and/or build on what you have in place already. At the point of investment we will work with you to agree a set of social impact Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which accurately reflect your target and wider outcomes. Within 30 days of drawing down our funds we will establish a baseline with you and we'll ask you to report back on the KPIs every 6 months. We will also ask for case studies (one per year) of how your organisation is making a difference to your beneficiaries.