Social Finance Round Up: Kicking off Social Finance Week
SocialFinance.ca produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of July 13, 2012. Reminder: this week is Social Finance Week at Charity Village and SocialFinance.ca. Scroll down to Upcoming Events in this week's Round-Up to find out what's in store.
- Karim Harji outlined a report recently released by Purpose Capital, titled Redefining Returns: Social Finance Awareness and Opportunities in the Financial Sector
- Syeda Zaki shared insights from the second TORONTO+acumen salon, focussed on poverty
Canadian and International News
- Northern Ireland sets up its first community wind-farm co-operative.
- Charities Aid Foundation reports that its CAF Social Impact Fund has offered £2.2 million in loans to 22 organisations in its first 12 months.
- RSF Social Finance announces a new loan to Ceres Community Projects in San Francisco, CA. In line with this, RSF has also announced a decline in their prime rates
- After receiving five times as many applications from projects that target women, the Big Lottery Fund wants to fund projects that reach more men, publishing guidance on how to do so. A report by BLF and the Young Foundation on the issue can be found here.
- Robert Kropp does a wonderful job of illustrating the movement for increased transparency in the socially responsible investing field.
- *UPDATE* The UK Cabinet Office releases a progress update on the Growth of the Social Investment Market. The report highlights what has been accomplished by the Government to date, and what the priorities are for moving forward. You can read their keystone report here (Further information found in last week’s round up). Of particular interest is the Government’s commitment to set up a centre for social impact bonds as described in an article by Civil Society UK.
- In the UK, Amendments to the Financial Services Bill, which would support the growth of the social investment market, were defeated yesterday in the House of Lords.
- Every year, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) publishes the World Investment Report, which looks at "non-equity modes of international production and development." This year, the report notes a "new generation" of investment policies on both the national and international levels that places "inclusive growth and sustainable development at the heart of efforts to attract and benefit from investment. Read a summary article here from JustMeans.
- From Imagine Canada’s Nonprofit Library: Walden University released their 2012 Social Change Impact Report. Key Findings include: Global economic conditions impact how adults get involved in positive social change; individual adults are the driving force behind social change engagement; adults are more likely to join digital social change conversations than to initiate them.
Social Finance Learning & Best Practice
- Dan Gregory at ClearlySo reminds us of the importance of reaching out to acquire a variety of diverse opinions as we advance the social finance marketplace, rather than letting those with the loudest voice lead the way.
- From the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), a collection of briefing documents on ‘social value’. This concept was recently introduced in UK procurement and commissioning legislation, requiring some public service contracts to consider social value ahead of procurement (see the UK Social Value Act, to be put into effect early 2013). Read the latest briefing by the UK MP, Chris White here.
- A report from Big Society Capital, lawyers Bates Wells and Braithwaite and social investment experts Worthstone sets out ten reforms to grow the social investment market in the UK.
- Down to Earth illustrates the drivers behind a quantifiable methodology for measuring social impact and cautions that this field needs to develop on its own, rather than being driven or consolidated to form a common set of metrics
- From SSIR, An inside look at the world of social finance in London (London, England that is)
- From the Guardian UK, an article on how Social Impact Bonds could play a role for social housing
- Plugging her new online charity evaluation platform (Place2Give), Gena Rotstein outlines a way to evaluate a non-profit’s social impact. Her description of key performance indicators center around Corporate performance, akin to the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) or VanCity’s Demonstrating Value platform.
- Kevin Starr of the Mulago Foundation completes the third part of his series The Trouble with Impact Investing. In it, he highlights several barriers (some technical, others fundamental) to impact investing. He is also a convincing speaker: watch him speak to some failed impact investments a year ago.
- From the Guardian, a roundup of informed experts on the inclusion of ‘social value’ in UK government contracts. Included is a thoughtful debate on what social value should mean and how it should be measured.
- The NonProfit Finance Fund illustrates 10 principles (Finance Essentials) for effective social sector leaders, and social sector funders
- JP Rangwasami remarks on the importance of trust within and across the social enterprise sector. Touching on social impact measurement (it’s less about the structure of metrics you use, and more about the quality of interaction across partners), he illustrates ways of fostering trust through sharing information assets. This is the sixth post in a series on Social Enterprise by CloudBlog.
- Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center (for impact measurement wonks like me, think TRASI) submits a call for foundations to begin to share their data and stop creating unique grant data management (aka social impact measurement) systems. He applauds a new initiative that provides real time grant reporting information through RSS feed. Phil Buchanan of the Centre for Effective Philanthropy responds. Lucy Bernholz describes several ways forward to open data.
- In an article for the Huffington Post Jigar Shah, CEO of The Carbon War Room, outlines what he sees as the definition of impact investing, laying out four qualifying criteria: 1. The investment must make an impact in solving a pressing problem of our time; 2. It must generate compelling returns for investors (market rate or market beating); 3. It must generate growth for economies; and 4. It must generate prosperity for developed and developing nations.
- The Forum for Social Innovation Sweden released an introductory guide to social innovation titled the “ABCs of Social Innovation”
- In March 2012, Deloitte announced a package of support to 30 successful socially innovative businesses (in the UK only) worth an estimated £1.5M. Deloitte will provide these Social Innovation Pioneers with at least 12 months of support to help them mainstream, go to scale and becoming investment-ready. Read the report highlighting lessons and insights from the selection process.
- Every quarter, Social Innovation Europe will produce a report on one key area of the social innovation ecosystem in Europe. This quarter, their report is about financing social innovation, and houses an abundance of quality information, case studies, challenges, and routes forward. Read their forward here.
- RSF Social Finance released its summer quarterly. Articles by y Helena Norberg-Hodge (Towards an Economics of Happiness) and in an interview with RSF client Colin Beavan (AKA No Impact Man) and RSF grantee Transportation Alternatives.
- Juy 16-20 is Social Finance Week on Charity Village, co-hosted by Socialfinance.ca. Check both websites for the great content we're running as part of this special series focussed on non-profits and charities, including a primer, case studies, and more in-depth articles. And be sure to participate in Thursday's Live Chat with sector leaders Jane Bisbee, Executive Director of the Edmonton Social Enterprise Fund, Susan Manwaring, National Chair of Miller Thomson’s Charities and Not-for-Profit Group and co-author of Social Enterprise in Canada: Structural Options, and Carol-Ann Smith, Manager of Social Entrepreneurship at MaRS Discovery District, and register for Wednesday's webinar, presented by Joanna Reynolds, Program Coordinator at MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. #SFweek on twitter.
- July 27: The inaugural Social Venture Pitching Day, hosted by Business Angel Network Southeast Asia (BANSEA) and NUS Enterprise, will be held in Singapore
- July 26-29: Ashoka's annual Youth Venture Summit takes place in Washington, DC
- September 12-14: 4th International Social Innovation Research Conference - University of Birmingham, Australia
- September 12-14: 29th International CIRIEC Congress – Public, social, and cooperative economy meeting the general interest – Vienna, Austria
- Sept 13-15: The Finger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute kicks off at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY