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This list has been jointly compiled by the National Lottery Community Fund, the Government Outcomes Lab, the Centre for SIBs (DCMS), and Big Society Capital.

It includes social investment fund managers, and holders of social investment capital, who have indicated they may be able to invest in Life Chances Fund SIB projects.

Nothing stated in this document represents any endorsement or recommendation of the organisations listed. The information provided is each investor’s own description of their organisation and work. It is up to you to critically scrutinise the information provided.

Big Issue Invest 

Big Issue Invest (BII) is the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group, a social enterprise with a mission to dismantle poverty and create opportunity in the UK. Big Issue Invest was established in 2005 to support charities, social enterprises and programmes that align with our social mission. We have invested in over 300 organisations across the UK and make investments of £20,000 to £3m to support social impact areas including Education Employment & Training, Housing & Homelessness, Physical and Mental Health, Financial Inclusion, and Sustainable Communities. We currently advise on or manage over £150m of funds with a commitment to achieving social impact through investment.

Previous experience with SIBs: 

Big Issue Invest has invested in multiple Social Impact Bonds since 2012 across a range of social impact areas. They aim to provide more than just money and play a hands-on role in developing and managing outcomes-based contracts that we invest in, with a commitment to sustainable partnerships that can drive better outcomes. Big Issue Invest a specialised team and £13m funding dedicated to outcomes-based investments.  They encourage early engagement with commissioners and providers exploring social impact bonds and other forms of payment-by-results contracts.  

Big Issue Invest can make direct investments into delivery organisations or into Special Purpose Vehicles set up to deliver a contract, with investment sizes of approximately £200,000 to £2.5m in each contract.

Bridges Social Sector Funds

Previous experience with SIB Investment:  Bridges is a specialist social impact investor with £1bn of funds under management.  The Bridges Social Impact Bond team is a not-for-profit team within Bridges which has invested into 19 SIBs. Since 2012, we’ve worked with commissioners and providers to design and deliver outcomes contracts across the UK. So far, these projects have helped over 15,000 beneficiaries, worked with 33 charities and social enterprises, and achieved over £50m worth of outcomes for over 30 local and national government departments. Some of the SIBs we support have also been successful in working with other organisations to contribute to outcomes payments, such as schools, NHS trusts, universities and philanthropists.

Impact areas: They manage a dedicated pool of capital of £25m to invest into SIBs, and we aim to catalyse £50m of outcomes contracts, which will deliver positive social outcomes worth over £100m to society.

Our approach: This is set out in the report'Better Outcomes, Better Value'. They believe that any outcomes contract (or SIB) should always aim for commissioners to achieve better, more or cheaper social outcomes than any alternative approach (either internal or external). If the SIB fails to deliver demonstrably better results than the commissioner’s ‘best available comparable option’ – then the additional cost (including the return to investors) should always be zero. They believe this ‘Base Case Zero’ model is critical to the future of SIBs.  In addition to providing working capital to charities and social enterprises to bid for and deliver outcomes contracts or SIBs, they also offer a ‘co-commissioning’ service, which can work alongside local commissioners to procure and manage outcomes / Payment by Results contracts. 

Policy areas: They are interested to explore projects across any policy area, provided that the contract will deliver better social outcomes, and better value for government.  However, we have deeply specialised expertise in the following 4 areas:  children’s services, educational support, homelessness and health/social care.


Previous experience with SIB Investment: 

CAF Venturesome is one of the most established players in the UK social investment market, having made more than 500 deals over 14 years. We are an impact first investor, focusing on low-cost unsecured debt, to support high impact charities and social enterprises across the UK, through the four funds that we run. 

They have a strong track record of being a lead and co-investor in SIBs, working with multiple providers, commissioners and intermediaries, and in 2012 published “Funding Good Outcomes”– a policy paper on payment by results contracts based on our experience in this space. SIBs we have invested in include Aspire Gloucestershire; Teens & Toddlers and St Mungo’s Broadway. 

Service area:

They are always interested in hearing about new SIB investment opportunities. When considering these our primary focus is on the social impact potential of the intervention and the long-term financial and organisational benefit for the delivery organisation. We prioritise simpler SIB models - those that are quickest and cheapest to set up and to monitor, and where our funding can play a significant role. We tend to invest between £200,000 & £300,000 and look for SIBs where the total financing need does not exceed £1m. 

Care and Wellbeing Fund 

The Care and Wellbeing Fund supports the development of innovative models of community based care through social investment, with the aim of iterating these models and bringing them to scale. Working in partnership with the Fund will provide commissioners with access to upfront capital to develop new or adapted services, alongside sector-specific expertise in the design and implementation of new interventions, data analysis and business support. The £12m investment fund boasts an impressive team. The Fund is backed by two founding co-investors, Macmillan Cancer Support and Big Society Capital, with Social Finance Ltd acting as Fund Manager and The Health Foundation as a Development Partner.

Service area:

Developing operating models, financial modelling, business case development, defining strategic objectives, providing catalytic capital to reduce the risk of innovation, structuring social impact bonds, investor matching. 

Previous experience with SIBs:

The Care and Wellbeing Fund team has extensive experience in developing and implementing Social Impact Bonds. The Fund Manager, Social Finance, was the first to design and implement a Social Impact Bond and has successfully designed and managed SIBs in numerous areas across Health and Social Care, Children’s Services, Mental Health and Employment, Social Prescribing and Criminal Justice. The Fund itself made its first investment into the Reconnections SIBin Worcestershire,which aims to tackle loneliness and isolation, working with the County Council and Worcestershire’s three CCGs. The Fund is currently rolling out a programme of projects aimed at improving end of life care, having worked with over 60 CCGs, as well as engaging key stakeholders and national organisations such as NHS England, Marie Curie and Hospice UK.

Policy areas:

Primary care development, improved care for older people, vocational rehabilitation, social prescribing, management of long-term conditions, health and activity, end of life care, health & wellbeing.  

City Bridge Trust 

Previous experience with SIBs:

The City Of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, provides grants totalling around £20m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.

Policy and Service areas:

One of the Trust’s programmes is the Stepping Stones Fund, a grant fund for organisations looking to engage with the social investment market. Recipients must have a London focus, and the Trust can only support certain legal forms of organisation so please check their eligibility criteria.

Stepping Stones grants have been awarded to several organisations exploring SIBs.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Previous experience with SIBs: 

Esmee Fairbairn has a £35m social investment fund and has made 120 social investments since 2008. Esmee invests in a diverse range of organisations including charities, social enterprises, community benefit societies and other social investment funds. Esmee supports both revenue and capital projects with social investment. It has a broad portfolio of social investments including loans, charity bonds, equity, revenue participation agreements and Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

Policy and Service areas:

Esmee is an impact first investor, this means the projects and organisations it supports with social investment must be able to demonstrate the potential to achieve a high social impact as well as a financial return. Investments must be aligned with Esmee’s funding priorities within one of the five sectors it supports – Arts, Environment, Children & Young People, Social Change and Food. Details of its priorities in each of these sectors are on its website.

Northstar Ventures Ltd 

Northstar Ventures is one of the North East of England’s leading and ambitious intermediary investors managing a number of funds aimed at innovative, high growth businesses and social enterprises across the region. The North East Social Investment Fund is a £9m fund investing in sustainable Social Enterprises to improve their social impact in key priority sectors. Our investment team has considerable experience in working with social enterprises to raise finance in the social investment sector and has worked with providers and deliverers to structure a social impact bond.


North East

Policy area: 


Service area:

Funding, Deal structuring, Analysis

Previous experience with SIBs:

We have successfully structured a SIB funded by the DCLG Fair Chance Fund and being delivered by Home Group and others in Newcastle and the North East. The project is aimed at reducing homelessness and improving well-being through education and employment of disadvantaged young people with complex needs.

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC)

Previous experience with SIB Investment: 

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) manages two funds with a combined value of £50 million. It aims to invest these funds in a way that will generate both social impact and a financial return. Funding payment by results (PBR) contracts is a key area of interest. 

Policy and Service areas:

SASC believes that while conventional social impact bond (SIB) structures have a role to play in the market, they can be expensive and inflexible. Wherever possible, SASC aims to put together a different kind of PBR structure. It favours a structure that is more flexible, lower cost and – importantly – allows a provider to share in the economics of the project. SASC has led the arrangement of one such project that gave a provider total financing of £1 million, and is working with another provider on a similar project.

Barrow Cadbury Trust

Policy and Service Areas:Barrow Cadbury Trust is an independent, endowed, charitable foundation. The Trust is the largest of the several dozen Cadbury family foundations.

Their history goes back more than 100 years. The Trust has had a focus on social justice and equality issues. The founders, Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury worked throughout their lives for greater social justice and the Trust’s work carries on in that tradition today with a commitment to bringing about a more just and equal society. Building on our Quaker roots we seek long-term solutions by looking at root causes of inequality.

The problems we address are complex so we often work in partnership and collaboration; with grant-holders, other trusts and foundations, local and national government, to identify solutions.

We focus on a small number of distinct policy areas and try to influence them by building an evidence base, advocating for change and ensuring the voices of people affected by social injustices are heard in the debate.

Much of our work is directed towards change at the national level but where we work locally this is almost always in the Birmingham area.

Cross-cutting themes

  • Strengthening civil society
  • Putting equality at the heart of everything we do
  • Addressing gender based disadvantage
  • Addressing racism in all its forms.
  • Promoting sustainable development

Comic Relief

Policy and Service Areas: 

Comic Relief is experimenting with new approaches to social investment through its Red Shed initiative, finding different ways to support innovation and impact by combining its traditional grant-making with other forms of repayable finance.

Early in 2019 it will be piloting a "beyond grants" programme, a new way to tackle the cliff edge that can appear for organisations that are reaching the end of a traditional three-year funding round and face either reinventing themselves to retain funding or embarking on a perilous journey towards new income streams. Beyond Grants aims to facilitate that transition more smoothly, with mixed elements of grant, repayable grant, loan and support.

A key element of the pilot – and arguably its most important – is that there is no set product or formula for the investment. Each package of finance and support will be bespoke, taking into account the existing and future plans of the investee.

Impetus PEF

“Impetus is now the funder that has the best-worked-out and implemented approach to social investing, bar none.”

Impetus have a unique approach to working with charities. They provide them with core funding, the expertise of a dedicated Investment team and access to a world class pro bono network. They work shoulder-to-shoulder with charities leaders to help them become stronger organisations that transform the lives of the young people they serve.

Impetus are proud of the pioneering approach to impact management they have developed. They want to share it so other charities and funders can learn from their experience and to find out how they can keep improving too.

The Investment team at Impetus works shoulder-to-shoulder with charities to help them become even stronger. They help them to define which young people they can serve well, what outcomes they'll deliver and how they'll monitor and improve performance as they grow. Support is provided to develop an impact strategy and delivery plan, and to build a great leadership team and sustainable organisation.

Charities are matched with experts from Impetus’s pro bono network. They donate their time and skills to drive charity performance through support with business planning, organisational structure, finance, leadership coaching and performance management.

Impetus provide long-term core funding so that charities can build their capacity to consistently deliver high quality programmes as they grow. As a result, they are able to strengthen the core activities needed to get bigger and better.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an independent organisation working to inspire social change through research, policy and practice.

Social Investments deliver our charitable objectives and contribute to JRF’s long-term purpose of a reduction in poverty and disadvantage.

Our Social Investments achieve a direct social impact (such as affordable homes, employment, low cost finance, affordable energy) and an expectation that the money can be returned, so it can be invested again. JRF’s definition of poverty is when a person’s resources are not sufficient to meet their basic needs, which includes the need to be part of society. Our social investments help solve poverty.

As a society, we believe that supporting each other is the right thing to do. To that end, JRF has been making social investments since 2015, and we have a portfolio of just under 30 investments agreed, with over £12 million committed.

We have made direct investments into charities and social enterprises such as Glasgow Together, Fair for You and Timewise. We have made investments into specialist funds such as Big Issue Investand the North East Social Enterprise Fund. We backed affordable housing in the form of the London Community Land Trust and the National Homelessness Property Fund.

Montpelier Foundation

The broad objective of the Foundation is to improve the lives of disadvantaged people. Through the provision of support by grants or social investment. These will support programmes in the areas of education and training, health, infrastructure, social justice or livelihood improvement. The Foundation looks for sustainable solutions to economically empower people and communities and foster self-sufficiency. 

The support the Foundation provides may be structured as grants, loans or equity investments with the intention of maximising long-term beneficial impact. They were involved in Fair Chance Your Chance Ltd, a social impact bond tackling youth homelessness run by the charity DePaul in Manchester and Greenwich. Another SIB has been Futureshapers Ltd run by Sheffield Futures and working with teenagers at risk of being NEET.

The Foundation focuses on two groups, the rural poor and disadvantaged youth, supporting organisations that are intervening at one or more points.

The type of funding they provide fits the organisation’s needs, with the purpose of helping those who have a successful, proven solution to grow or scale their operations.

They provide grants typically to non-profits which cannot be fully self-sustainable because they are reaching the most vulnerable and excluded. This is usually unrestricted funding in order to give our partners more flexibility.

They provide investments typically to social businesses, including loans, social impact bonds, equity and quasi-equity. Decisions are driven by the social impact and what our funding can help prove, whether for the organisation or a sector or market.


Policy and Service areas: Resonance are a social impact investment company. We help social enterprises raise capital from like-minded investors and we create impact investment funds, which deliver financial return and targeted social impact. Our Venture Servicesprovide customized support including investment readiness and deal arranging to help you prepare for raising finance.

Meanwhile our Funds team designs, raises and manages focused impact investment funds where they are the right tools to scale up good social enterprise models.

Treebeard Trust

Set up in 2011, Treebeard is a small foundation with big ambitions. They’re looking to back people with the passion, energy, intelligence and purpose which are essential to overcome the odds and create lasting change.

Like most trusts and foundations, they give a small amount of their assets every year to charities as impact only investments, rather than grants. Every penny spent is an investment, and it needs to generate a return, albeit social rather than financial.

Treebeard already has 20% of assets in impact investments, and their aspiration is to reach 50% over time. The portfolio spans a wide range of equity, property and debt investments in a diverse range of organisations. What unites them all is their blend of a clear and powerful social impact with a rigorous commercial model.

They support all types of organisation, including registered charities, social enterprises, CICs, and for-profit companies where social purpose is explicit and core to the mission. They support both established organisations and start-ups. Legal structure and maturity are of limited relevance, as they’re more interested in what the organisation does and how it does it.

They look for strong leadership, innovation and potential for real transformation, as well as a commercial model that is robust and, preferably, scalable. They’re interested in organisations that drive social impact through their business model, rather than as a by-product. Treebeard are open-minded about which sectors they operate in, and have already invested across many (including healthcare, food, energy and environment, employment, leisure, financial inclusion, residential and commercial property).

Contact us:

Treebeard Trust does not accept unsolicited applications, so please do not mail or email proposals for funding. If you work for - or know of - an organisation that you think fits their mission, values and investment approach, please drop them a brief line in the Contact Us message box.