This post is the first in a series of short real world examples of charities making investments that align with their charitable objectives. If you have any examples from your own or other organisations investments please get in touch.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation
In 2017, Guy’s and St Thomas’ invested £5Mil in the Real Lettings Property Fund 2 (RLPF2). The fund has created 325 homes and helped house 550 individuals. This helps G & St achieve their charitable objective of reducing health inequality. You can read more about their impact investments here.
The Aegis Trust
Aegis Trust has two social impact investments: Discover Rwanda and the White Rose Shops. The former is a tour operator and hospitality firm that contributes to AT’s mission by providing employment to young victims of human right’s abuses. The latter is a shop chain which provides affordable clothing throughout the UK. There are more details here.
Oxfam & EDP
Oxfam has partnered with Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) to invest in high impact social enterprises throughout the developing world through a combination of loans and grants. This has helped pull thousands out of poverty and provided employment for women. A prominent example of this work is MFPI, a women led cooperative of soy farmers in Rwanda. You can read more about Oxfam and EDP’s partnership here and their business ventures here.
Barrow Cadbury Trust
The BCT is a prolific social impact investor who provide capital for projects that address the following issues: criminal justice, gender justice, racial justice and economic justice. One of their portfolio members is Thrive Renewables, a portfolio of renewable energy projects, including wind, hydro-electric and solar sectors. You can read more about their social investment here and see their portfolio here.
Dunhill have set aside £5mil for social investments and have begun investing Zinc2 fund, a socially responsible investment management firm. One of Zinc’s missions is to provide products and services for the elderly which directly aligns with Dunhill’s charitable objectives. An example being Cogni.dx, an electronic tool that accelerates the diagnosis of dementia. You can see their responsible investment policy here and Zinc’s portfolio here.
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
EFF conduct extensive social and social impact investment. This includes their Land Purchase Facility, a scheme which has purchased £10m worth of land for conservation by the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust. They are then given the option to pay back for the land with a small amount of interest. You can read about EFF’s social investment here, impact investment here and the Land Purchase Facility here.
Thirty Percy is grant giving and social impact charity that gives towards educational, sustainable development and environmental causes. One of their portfolio members is The Renewables Infrastructure Group, an investment company whose portfolio members consist of renewable energy firms. There responsible investment policy is here and TRIG’s website is here.
Friends Provident Foundation
FPF’s social impact investments focus on the climate crisis and decarbonising the economy. As part of this, they have invested £100K in a community share of Egni Solar Co-op, which is in the process of installing solar panels on community buildings across Wales. FPF’s ethical investment approach and portfolio can be found here.
Nesta social impact investments operate in 5 distinct spaces: “improving school readiness at age 5 and secondary school attainment, tackling obesity, reducing household carbon emissions and improving productivity.” They have invested £2.65m into Third Space Learning since 2015. TSL provides one-to-one maths tuition online. An overview of their investment strategy can be found here and their portfolio here.
Places Foundation Group Charity
PFGC is the charitable arm of the property development firm Places for People. They carry out a wide array of impact investment, including Big Issue Invest. BII in turn invested in Blankfaces, the first UK fashion label dedicated to eradicating homelessness. They do this by challenging perceptions of homelessness by soliciting designs for their cloths from them. One can view PFGC’s portfolio and impact here.