Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation

New social investment products to support recovery

11 January 2021

As part of our ongoing emergency support we are offering a new range of flexible social investments which include grants (in England) alongside our loans


CAF Venturesome, the social investment team of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), has made more than 650 social investments since 2002 and its main fund, the Development Fund, has been offering mainly unsecured loans to social enterprises and charities all over the UK since 2009.  Our mission is to provide social enterprises, charities and community organisations with the finance and support they need to sustain their social impact.

We understand the financial challenges that social enterprises and charities are facing during these turbulent times.  That's why our social investment loans are a source of affordable flexible finance to help organisations continue their charitable activities, stabilise, and plan for future growth. Since March 2020 we have supported many organisations with flexible social investment loans as well as sign posting them to emergency grant funding and government backed loan funds. 

We have seen that many social enterprises and charities need long-term, flexible finance with a grant layer alongside loans to help them stabilise and allow them to start planning for future growth once more.  We have also seen that there is a need for more patient, risk-bearing capital to finance longer-term projects which includes an opportunity to repay loans over 10 instead of five years.

We know that many organisations will be nervous about taking out a loan during a period of high uncertainty but adding a grant layer, alongside the loan, may make it more affordable. 

Therefore, as part of our ongoing COVID-19 emergency response, we are now able to offer a new range of emergency, flexible social investments which include grants up to 50% of the loan value (currently available until March 2021 in England) alongside our social investment loans as well as loans with extended repayment terms. 

Our range of social investments now includes

  • Unsecured & secured loans (Loans from £25,000 to £400,000, repayable up to ten years at approximately 6.5%)
  • Emergency COVID response part loan/part grant (Up to 50% of loan value available to March 2021 in England)
  • Charity Bonds
  • Social Impact Bonds
  • Quasi Equity

(We are able to offer grants thanks to funding from Access - The Foundation for Social Investment’s emergency lending programme available in England only.)

This social investment is for:

  • recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis
  • cash flow support to help transition to a sustainable social business model
  • investing in growth plans
  • investing in a social enterprise/trading arm to generate unrestricted income
  • investing in a Social Impact Bond

To find out how we can help your organisation recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.