£1.5million grant fund to help charities take on social investment

A £1.5million grant fund to help charities demonstrate their impact and take on social investment has been launched by the Cabinet Office.

The Impact Readiness Fund will be administered on behalf of the Cabinet Office by the Social Investment Business, and will help charities building infrastructure and develop systems and knowledge to measure their impact. Grants of between £15,000 and £150,000 are available.

Ventures will have to submit joint bids for funding in partnership with approved providers who are specialists in helping charities prove their impact.

Providers are being asked to apply for approved status by Monday 10 November. Following that, application packs for charities will be available from Monday 17 November. A closing date has not yet been provided.

Organisations must fit certain criteria to be successful when applying to the fund. These include being focused on tackling social problems, demonstrating a strong commitment to securing investment or to delivering public or private sector contracts and being able to complete the work plan within a maximum period of three months.

Charities are likely to hear if they have been successful in January, but money must be disbursed by the end of the financial year.

The fund is closely modeled on the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund, a £10million fund already administered by the Social Investment Business, but is focused more closely on impact rather than broad investment readiness. The money provided is additional to £60million already allocated to grant funding to support social investment, announced in June this year. That money will come from repayments to Futurebuilders England, a third sector loan fund set up by the Labour government. A provided will be endowed to provide that funding in December.

For further information on the fund visit www.sibgroup.org.uk/impactready.