Lord Cairns was Chairman of CAF for seven years from 2003 to 2010. He has held a number of senior roles in various charitable organisations including: Chair of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Chair of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Chair of Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), Board member of Mo Ibrahim Foundation and Founding Chair of Africa’s Voices. He has also fulfilled many senior level positions in the private sector in addition to a banking career finishing as Chief Executive of SG Warburg, a major UK investment bank.

Lord Cairns has been a loyal CAF Venturesome funder since 2006 through his CAF Charitable Trust. He tells us more about CAF Venturesome saying “I have been a keen supporter of Venturesome since its early days. My only complaint is that Venturesome is not many times bigger. The UK would be a better place if it was!"

"It is often difficult to get to know enough of small but important social enterprises, to get broad knowledge of them and their management and to analyse their impact and sustainability. By using the lending route investors can take a variety of risks which are measured against the social impact that may be achieved through each social investment.

Venturesome is an exceedingly intelligent way to deploy social/charitable funding, building on the initial work and skill of the CAF Venturesome team, their continued monitoring and supporting role, leading to high quality funding of many smaller but vitally important charitable initiatives."

CAF Venturesome team


CAF Venturesome helps you support causes you’re passionate about by lending your charitable funds to charities and social enterprises. We:

  • will work closely with you to understand your charitable goals;
  • assess the financial performance and social impact of every social organisation we lend to.

When the social enterprise or charity repay the loan, we lend that money to other social organisations; so your funds provide social impact again and again and again.

We’re a registered charity that’s been at the heart of the ground-breaking social investment sector for 14 years. By working with us, you can be part of something truly transformational. We support charities, social enterprises and community groups across a range of causes, both in the UK and internationally, who need funding to continue their good work.

To find out more, get in touch with CAF Venturesome by emailing venturesome@cafonline.org or telephone 03000 123 300.

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