We have been interested in social investment since the Charity Commission updated its guidance on Charities and Investment Matters in 2011 (known as CC14). This allowed charities, for the first time, to invest their funds to achieve a social impact as well as a financial return - the definition of social investment - rather than for financial return alone.
Most of our income comes from investments managed for us to produce the best total financial return within an acceptable level of risk. The money generated is spent on furthering our charitable aims - the relief of sickness and poverty, and the advancement of health. Most funding organisations’ portfolios are managed in this way, but it means that our funds could be invested in organisations with activities far removed from our objectives.
We have therefore, since 2013, set aside funds to be used specifically for social investment. This has allowed us to achieve a financial return at the same time as directly furthering our aims and increasing our overall social impact.