Nonprofit Business & Social EnterpriseSocial impact investment has developed out of a growing need of non-profits and social enterprises to have better access to capital. For years, these social sector organisations have faced unpredictable funding and little capital investment, preventing their ability to grow and maximise their impact. The implications of this have been explored internationally, and in Australia by the Productivity Commission and the Senate Economics References Committee.
Simply put, social impact investment is finance provided to social sector organisations by investors that expect to both get their money back and create social impact. Depending on the arrangement, investors may also expect a financial return on their investment. It is not a grant or a donation. It can be helpful to think of social impact investment on a spectrum, lying between the traditional ends of grant funding and investment capital. The spectrum below is not meant to illustrate any hard and fast barriers. It is simply a guide to help explain key concepts. Grants and donations are likely to be open to all types of non-profits and social enterprises and may be the best type of funding at certain times in an organisation’s lifespan. Different types of funding and finance may be combined to achieve objectives. A non-profit may set up a social enterprise as a subsidiary.
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