Last week we published our second quarterly dashboard, summarising the period up to and including the quarter January to March 2017. This follows on from our first dashboard, for the period to December 2016, which was published in February. Our latest report shows a significant increase in activity to the previous quarter, and we expect to see further increase over the next few quarters as more funds are launched and more programmes move from design and set-up stage to their pilot and main phases.
Here we report the headlines for the period…
The Growth Fund (Dashboard Part 1)
The Growth Fund funds organisations to make small loans to charities and social enterprises. At the end of March, four social investment funds were open and actively lending (this has since increased to five, with more expected to launch over the summer). A further six had been approved and were in the final stages of negotiation, one more was in due diligence and eight others were working on their applications.
At the 31st March, the four live funds had received a total of 427 initial enquiries from charities and social enterprises (183 of which were during this January to March quarter) and 57 had progressed to applications (this quarter: 23). Of these, 40 (this quarter: 31) had been approved and 22 (this quarter: 20) had already received their funds. These figures represent a total of £2.8m committed to charities and social enterprises, £1.3m of which had already been deployed in investments averaging £64.3k. The charities and social enterprises which received grants from their social investor alongside their loan received an average of £4.9k non-repayable finance within this amount.
This quarter we brought a new feature to the dashboard. Follow the link next to the static map to view the interactive version, showing the location of the 22 charity and social enterprise recipients to March 2017. Click on each of the pins to view details of the loan (and look out for Ed’s upcoming blog exploring this feature further…)
Capacity Building (Dashboard Part 2)
Part two of the dashboard focuses on our investment readiness programmes.
The Reach Fund provides investment readiness grants to charities and social enterprises via social investor ‘Access Points’ and is managed by Social Investment Business. The fund has been delivering grants since November 2016, and this quarter 14 grants were awarded by six of the 10 Access Points, averaging £13.7k and totalling over £191k. Details of these grants, along with the seven made in the previous quarter, are again shown on an interactive map which can be accessed via the dashboard. We are excited to already be seeing the impact of these loans, with six charities and social enterprises having successfully applied for investment since receiving a Reach Fund grant so far.
This quarter we also reported for the first time on the Impact Management Programme. This programme aims to build the capacity of charities and social enterprises to manage their social impact, and is delivered by a consortium of partners led by NPC.
The programme is designed for and with charities and social enterprises. The Pathway Strand held two co-design sessions during the quarter, with 19 organisations participating. The programme also delivered eight outreach events with over two hundred combined attendees.
The first grants from the Impact for Growth Strand will be awarded in June 2017, but we can already share some key figures from its pilot application phase. This included five impact management training sessions with over one hundred attendees, and led to 30 applications being submitted during the quarter. These requests averaged £47.3k and were received by 13 different providers. We look forward to sharing details of grants provided in subsequent dashboards.
As well as using our £60m endowment to fund these (and future) capacity building programmes and research over our ten year life, we are seeking to achieve social impact even before the funds are given in grants by investing under our ‘total impact approach’. We are pleased to see the proportion of our endowment invested in our “bull’s eye” increasing, reaching 31.9% by the end of March. At the end of the quarter, Martin Rich, Chair of our Endowment Investment Committee, provided an update on our progress and process and outlined plans to publish further details of our investments in the near future. Read Martin’s blog here and stay tuned!
You can view the Q1 2017 dashboard here. We hope that you find it interesting.
Updates since March
Although this dashboard only covers the period to 31st March, lots more has happened since!
We’ve seen the launch of another Growth Fund social investment Fund (Homeless Link) in May, and we expect several more to launch in the coming months. This week our third capacity building programme, the Connect Fund, was launched by our partner Barrow Cadbury Trust. The fund will provide grants to address gaps in the infrastructure of the social investment market in England, and is now open to expressions of interest. The Impact Management Programme’s Impact for Growth strand opened its second provider application window this month, and we are seeing more Reach Fund recipients successfully applying for investment, such as one recent case study North East Dance.
We look forward to sharing all this and more in our future dashboards.
A note on process
We are publishing these reports every three months, approximately six to eight weeks following each calendar quarter’s end. This is for two reasons. Firstly, we want to give our partners, fund managers and programme administrators adequate time to provide us with data on their activity. Absorbing complexity as far as possible and trying not to over-burden social investors and others with excessive reporting requirements and short deadlines is integral to the design of all of our programmes. Secondly, we want to ensure that we take the time to fully understand and analyse all of the data that we have so that we can hopefully provide the most useful summary figures and snapshots of our programmes and funds. We hope that by taking this approach we will be able to maximise both our own learning and that of any interested parties.
At Access, learning and openness are at the heart of everything that we do. We are committed both to maximising our own learning from all of our activity and to sharing this as much as possible. Our hope is that this will be of benefit to social investors, other providers of loans and grants and others in the social investment market and therefore, ultimately, to the charities and social enterprises which we exist to support.
Our next quarterly dashboard, for the period up to and including April to June 2017, will be published during August. If you would like to keep up to date with our programmes and funds in the meantime you can view our other blogs, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter and follow us on Twitter. You can also read more of our learning and analysis on our Learning and Research page.