Image of Amir Rizwan

Amir Rizwan

Investment Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


Location of the event:
Garden Room
Oxford Old Fire Station, OX1 2AQ

Date and time:
06 April 2017, 2:00 pm

Register now

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Are social organisations from Mars and social investors from Venus?

28 March 2017


misunderstanding-15552-small

 At this year’s Marmalade, a fringe event to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, Amir Rizwan from CAF Venturesome will be hosting an interactive session on the issue of communication between the social investment sector and the charity/social enterprise sector.

Why focus on the issue of communication? Too often social investors are viewed as being ‘out of touch’ and lacking an understanding of the needs of social organisations with suspicions around their motivations and the way they interact with them. In a similar vein, social organisations can be seen as being too slow in changing their ways and not able to understand the risks around repayable financing. We believe that the issue of communication between both sides is leading to barriers in the way that both groups are working together and perceive one another. With the growth of funds in the social investment sector it is now as important as ever that the sector remains relevant for the vast majority of social enterprises and charities, especially among smaller organisations that are looking to raise smaller amounts of social investment (sub-£150k).


Too often social investors are viewed as being ‘out of touch’ and lacking an understanding of the needs of social organisations with suspicions around their motivations and the way they interact with them.

In our session at Marmalade on 6th April we will be exploring a number of themes around the issue of language and communication with participants and getting people to discuss, debate and (and hopefully!) come up with a number of solutions to some of the issues at hand.

  • The use of language and jargon: what are the current issues around how both sides of the spectrum communicate with one another? Do smaller organisations feel overwhelmed when faced with a barrage of jargon from social investors? How do we solve the problem of complex jargon? Do new initiatives in the social investment sector help improve these issues or does more need to be done to tackle the problem?
  • Smaller social organisations dread the term ‘due diligence’ and see this as being a hostile process that can be confusing and they have a completely different perception of what the process entails when compared to social investors. What role does communication and language have in the due diligence process that can help make it a process that social organisations are able to manage more effectively?
  • What role does communication have in reinforcing some of the cultural stereotypes that exist for both social investors (rich ex-City bankers seeking salvation) and social organisations (stuck in their old ways and refusing to adapt)? How can we use language and communication to bridge this cultural gulf between both groups?
We are looking to have a lively interactive session where we would like to engage with people from all backgrounds to discuss this issue around communication.  As one of the most established social investors in the sector we have worked on a number of initiatives including our report on the demand for financing in the social investment sector and our series on failure. We believe that the issue of communication is an important area to explore in order to understand where the current issues are in order to develop ideas that would foster a relationship of trust and mutual understanding in the sector.

We look forward to seeing you in Oxford for a lively and thought provoking debate!

Location of the event: Garden Room, Oxford Old Fire Station, OX1 2AQ

Date and time: 06 April 2017, 2:00 pm

Register now

RELATED CONTENT

Meet the team behind CAF Venturesome


An introduction to our team, who have a wealth of expertise in helping charities access social investment.

Is social investment not for you?


Borrow from £50,000 to £5 million with loan repayment terms up to 25 years to undertake a project, purchase a property of refurnish a property, or expand your services.

Giving Thought blog


Our Giving Thought think-tank looks at key issues affecting civil society, philanthropy, social investment and new technologies for social good.


Charities Aid Foundation © 2017 | Registered Charity Number 268369
25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA Telephone: 03000 123 000
10 St. Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD Telephone: 03000 123 000