Grow your impact - with repayable finance

Through our Venturesome Impact Fund, we provide social investment for purpose driven organisations – charities, social enterprises and community groups – all over the UK. This is in line with our vision for a fair and sustainable future for all.

The fund offers flexible finance options designed to help your social organisation ease cashflow, develop new services or purchase assets – all of which can play an important part in sustaining and growing your impact.

Man with Down Syndrome working in a cafe

The Venturesome Impact Fund

Our social investment fund supports organisations all over the UK, irrespective of cause area or geography.

We offer repayable loans between £50,000 and £1 million, with a 5.5% fixed interest rate that won’t change during the lifetime of the facility. Additional commitment and legal fees apply.

Our flexible investment types include:

  • Unsecured loans
  • Blended finance (part loan/part grant)
  • Standby facilities (a pre-approved loan to draw on if it's needed)

Our unrestricted social investment can fund:

  • Working capital/cashflow management
  • Delivering products and/or services to new customers
  • Building organisational resilience such as investing in improving impact measurement and reporting, designing and developing products or services, systems and processes, sales and marketing, hiring new staff, and purchasing assets

Typically, our loans are between 3-5 years with a regular payment schedule, but we can increase that up to 10 years under exceptional circumstances.

Eligibility


You may be eligible for social investment if your organisation:

  • Has a clear charitable purpose and social impact. You don’t need to be a registered charity, but we can’t currently accept companies limited by shares unless wholly owned by a charity. Community interest companies (CIC) limited by shares are eligible.
  • Is incorporated and registered in the UK, but you can have international projects
  • Has been trading for at least one year and can provide evidence either from donations or trading
  • Has a minimum annual turnover of £75,000

What we can't fund


Through social investment, we are unable to fund:

  • Blended finance for organisations with a turnover of more than £500,000
  • Stand-alone grant funding
  • Refinancing of existing loans
  • Property purchases for organisations with a track record of 3+ years and stable finances. If that sounds like your situation you may wish to explore a secured loan from CAF Bank.

What we look for in borrowers



  • The scale and depth of the impact you can make on people or the environment
  • Evidence that funding will make a difference in the community
  • A plan showing how social investment could help you become more sustainable, create jobs and open up opportunities
  • Evidence of strong governance, an appropriate legal structure, and a sustainable business model to repay the loan
  • Receipt of regular impact and financial reporting whilst the loan is outstanding

Application process


  1. Complete the short enquiry form
  2. If you’re eligible, we’ll schedule a call to review loan terms and address any questions
  3. We’ll ask you to complete a full application form with further details including a cashflow forecast, management accounts, social impact report, and a business plan (if available)
  4. Our due diligence process will include a call with your management and one of your board members
  5. The application will be presented to our Investment Committee and we’ll let you know of the outcome
  6. If successful, we’ll ask you to complete a background check form
  7. We’ll then ask you to sign a legal contract, pay the upfront fees and share your board resolution with us
  8. You’ll email us a drawdown request telling us when you would like to receive the investment 
  9. You’ll receive the amount requested in your organisation's bank account

The process typically takes 8 weeks from start to finish, but in periods of high volume it may take longer.

Ready to apply?

Complete our short enquiry form to start the process. You will need to have ready:

  • Your organisation’s charity or company number
  • How much you are asking for
  • How you plan to use the investment

If you’re eligible, we’ll then send you a further application form to tell us more details about your organisation.

Our approach

We want all purpose-driven organisations to be able to access affordable, flexible finance – particularly those who may not otherwise be able to access mainstream lending – so they can become stronger and more resilient. That’s why our fund is:

  • Continuously open for applications
  • Cause universal 
  • Available to social enterprises and charities across the UK (including those that provide services overseas)

Most of our social investments are unsecured loans. This is often an attractive option for organisations that struggle to access finance from banks due to their lack of assets, such as property, to be used as collateral. In some circumstances, we will offer blended finance packages (part loan/part grant), which can help smaller organisations facing additional pressures. 

We’re able to do all this because of the support of our generous donors. They provide the money for the fund, which we then loan to charities and social enterprises. As these organisations repay us, we use the same money to loan to other organisations looking to grow their impact. 

So, one pot of money can benefit many causes and multiply the impact they make.

How social investment could help you

Affordable, flexible repayment finance

Ease your cashflow, develop new services, build capacity.

No restrictions on what you invest in

Grant funding usually restricts how you use the funds. Social investment doesn’t.

 

Borrow without putting assets at risk

Most banks look to secure large loans on assets like property. We don’t.

Your repayments help other social organisations

We recycle the money you repay, lending it to other organisations who need our support.

You can diversify your income

Become more resilient and do more good for more people.

 

Strengthen your operations

Getting ready for social investment can bring more discipline, rigour and transparency to your charity.

 
Female youth worker speaking to a teenage girl


“CAF's social investment support has been pivotal to our sustainability and success in making a huge difference to the most isolated communities in Birmingham. Because of CAF, we have been able to make a difference to over 40,000 individuals."

Ray Goodwin, Chief Executive, Spitfire Advice and Support Services

Why use social investment from CAF?

Social investment pioneers

We’ve provided social investment since 2002, making us one of the first and most active social investment funds in the UK.
 

Expert social investor

Our multi-disciplinary team have a broad understanding of the sector, so we know what works best – and just as crucially, what doesn’t.

Over £65 million deployed

Since 2002 we have lent more than £65 million to over 500 charities, social enterprise and community groups.

Always open

Our fund is cause universal, continuously open to applications and available for organisations all over the UK, including those with international projects.
 

Learn more about social investment

Talk to us about how social investment could be right for your charity or social enterprise.

Get in touch