Social Investment

Social investment is (in most cases) the use of repayable finance to achieve social impact. Voluntary organisations can use it for capital investment, revenue funding development, capacity building, or other ways of improving their sustainability.

We have practical support on whether social investment could help your organisation and what funding is available to support investment readiness.

good financeNCVO is part of the Good Finance collaboration, a website designed to make it easy to understand whether social investment is right for your organisation and what the next steps are.

Understanding the Capacity and Need to take on Investment within the Social Sector

In its most common form, charities and social enterprises use social investment to buy assets or scale up their service delivery, and in doing so seek to improve their sustainability.

A research project on social investment and the social sector

Borrowing is not necessarily a suitable option for all social sector organisations, and there are limits to how much the sector has capacity or need for the investment available in the current market. This research project examines this market across several reports, the data for which is also available below.

The report summary (PDF, 800KB) covers:

  • an analysis of the structure and finances of social sector organisations examining the sector's existing financing arrangements and their assets and liabilities
  • a literature review on organisations' financing behaviours from research that has already taken place on the UK social investment market
  • case studies on organisations' social investment journeys.

Find out more

Get the data - social non-profit companies operating in the UK

Based on open data from Companies House, the population of organisations was identified based on criteria including:

  • companies limited by guarantee (CLG) also registered as charities
  • community interest companies (CIC)
  • registered societies (formerly called Industrial and Provident Societies).

Financial data on these organisations is also included, based on accounts submitted to Companies House (and released by them) in iXBRL format.

  • Population (CSV, 78MB) - a list of every company identified as a non-profit company within the register of Companies held by Companies House.
  • Account data (CSV, 12MB) - data extracted from a sample of accounts of companies identified in the population. Data is extracted from ZIP files containing iXBRL files returned to Companies House. All figures are shown in GBP. Not every account will have a valid value for every field.
  • Datapackage file (JSON, 17KB) - a description of the data and the fields included, using the datapackage format. Fields in the package can be seen by viewing the data package in the OKFN data package viewer.
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