Make a greater impact with Venturesome

Our social investment funds are designed for private and corporate donors that want to realise ever-greater impact through philanthropy.

Venturesome is the social investment team at Charities Aid Foundation. We are unique in the UK as we use philanthropic capital to support social enterprises, charities and community organisations to sustain and grow their impact. Since 2002, we have made over 700 social investments totalling over £61m, including 40 blended finance packages (part loan/part grant) and supported more than 515 social organisations.

View Venturesome Impact Report

Why consider funding social investment?

Social investment is the use of the money to achieve a social, as well as a financial, return.

Social enterprises and charities have a greater need for capital than ever before. Our social investment loans and blended finance packages are a source of affordable flexible finance to help organisations continue their charitable activities, stabilise, and plan for future growth.

With your help we can support them to become resilient organisations working towards a fair and sustainable future for all.   

The Venturesome loans for Old Spike Roastery and Change Please have been invaluable in allowing us to scale our businesses and help more people 

Cemal Ezel
Founder, Old Spike Roastery and Change Please

Our social investment model

Your individual, family or corporate trust can make a social investment loan to Venturesome for 6-12 years. You can also choose to support Venturesome with a grant to enable us to offer blended finance packages.

From our funds, we make flexible, affordable loans and blended finance grants to social enterprises and charities. As loans are repaid, money is recycled back into the fund to allow us to invest in other organisations, so your money and social impact are multiplied again and again.  

At the end of your social investment loan, we can repay the capital or you can recommit it for a further term.

We support UK registered charities, social enterprises and community organisations (Community Interest Companies CICs).  We do not fund social businesses limited by shares.
Social investment model

The funds you can support

We currently make social investments through four funds. Get in touch if you would like more information about any of these funds.
  • The Development Fund
    Our main fund, the Development Fund, offers unsecured and secured social investment loans, blended finance (part loan / part grant), standby facilities and charity bonds. Our loans are from £25,000 to £400,000 repayable up to 10-years at approximately 6.5%. This fund is aimed at social organisations based all over the UK, including those with international projects, and is cause universal.

    We continually raise social investment loan capital for this fund to allow us to have 6 months capital available and to make up for the social investment loans that mature and we repay each year. We are also fundraising for grant capital to allow us to make grants alongside loans. The loan and grant capital will be deployed according to your selected criteria.

    Our target is £1 million per annum in new and recycled loan funds and £500,000 in grant funds.
  • The Community Led Housing Fund
    The Community Led Housing Fund (CLH Fund) supports all forms of community-led housing schemes. We offer social investment loans and blended finance up to £400,000 at various stages of planning, development and building of a project.

    We have £3 million in loan capital and £500,000 in grant capital. The grant capital can only be used in England (excluding London). We would like to raise a further £1m in loan capital and a further £500k to continue to offer grants until 2025 all over the UK.
  • The Social Enterprise (SE) Assist Fund
    Our smaller place-based fund, the SE-Assist Fund offers small social enterprises blended finance packages (interest free loans up to £20,000 / grants of up to £10,000).

    If you are interested in supporting early stage social enterprises in Wales with either loan or grant capital, please get in touch.

How it works for funders

A social investment loan to Venturesome is for 6 or 12 years. At the end of loan term we repay you all funds not committed in loans. We then set up a quarterly repayment schedule until all funds, less any write-offs, have been returned.  

In the Development Fund, you can choose to support at least 7 of 9 cause areas:

  • Arts and heritage
  • Children & Young People
  • Citizenship
  • Communities
  • Disability
  • Education
  • Employment & Training
  • Environment
  • Support for the third sector

We aim to return 85-90% of your funds from the Development Fund, with 75% from the other funds. We produce quarterly reports to funders recording outputs and outcomes with social impact stories on the Development Fund. We produce annual reports on the other funds.

Back in 2002 Venturesome came up with the novel idea that you could lend money to charities on a considered basis in a portfolio. Rather than giving a pound away once, you could multiply your giving and make that pound work five, six, seven, eight times. I became an early funder of a pool of loans that Venturesome would make and continue to support their innovative way of achieving my philanthropic goals.

Sir Harvey McGrath, philanthropist
former Chair of Big Society Capital and supporter of Venturesome since 2004 

Interested in funding social investment?

Our expert team are here to answer your questions. Start the conversation.

Get in touch

Social investment in action

We fund a range of social enterprises and charities to help them sustain their operations and grow in the future. Discover the projects we've supported, and the impact they've made.

Apprentice at work at London Aquatics Centre

K10 Apprenticeships

  • Apprenticeship Training Agency
  • £200,000 unsecured loan

Read this award-winning social enterprise's story to see how an unsecured loan helped grow its sustainability and creditworthiness.

Read K10 Apprenticeship's story

Old Spike case study

From homelessness to happiness

  • Prisoners Abroad | Old Spike Roastery | Change Please

How one man's life was transformed by three organisations that CAF Venturesome has supported.

Read Tom's Story

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