Tony Cahill and Hannah Jones from First Ark Social Investment attended our meeting and updated the group on their current basket of opportunities, and reminded us that not only did they want to bring investment funds to market, but also provide a free wraparound service to support the sector.
Current opportunities are:
Invest for Impact: A flexible unsecured blended capital (loan and grant) that includes pre-application and post-investment support. The investment can be between £50,000-£150,000 and there’s up to 30% available as a grant. Maximum term is 60 months and interest rates start from 6.5% APR +. There’s no capital repayment in year one and no arrangement or early repayment fees*.
The Reach Fund: A grant programme that offers help to charities and social enterprises to become ‘investment ready’. As an Access Point, we’ll work with you to identify your needs, develop an ‘investment readiness’ plan and apply for the Reach Fund. When looking to raise investment the Reach Fund can be used to help you close a deal or secure an investment.
The group also mentioned that they will be launching two more opportunities in November so watch out for those.
Tony also mentioned two interesting points came out of a conversation he had recently had with the Charity Commission.
- Charities are not considering the impact that Brexit is going to have on them, and the danger it presents with regard to grant funding.
- Charities are increasingly taking on commissioned services without understanding how to fully cost their bids and subsequently are in danger of pulling themselves under.
The group discussed the new Big Lottery application forms for Awards for All and Reaching Communities and the impact the new forms may have on community groups applying either in a positive or negative way.
We would also be very interested in hearing your thoughts and about your experiences in this regard. Email [email protected] if you would like to share anything with us.
The group also discussed the new GDPR rules that will be coming in around fundraising, data protection and direct marketing on the 25th May 2017, and discussed the possibility of hosting a joint event in the Liverpool City Region.
Get in touch if you would be interested in this sort of event. Email Zel on the email above.
LCVS are holding a Reaching Communities masterclass on the 5th October 2017
John also mentioned that the Heritage Lottery Fund – First World War: then and now are looking for projects to apply. Your project could be very general with some tie into an aspect of the First World War. Worth considering.
Vicky from Knowsley Borough Council mentioned the Strategic School Investment fund which might be good for school projects. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/strategic-school-improvement-fund
Sian from Knowsley CVS mentioned that they will be holding an Annual Conference on the 19th October which sounds very interesting.
There will be 16 funders, the Charity Commission and Brabners. The themes revolve around growth, collaboration and funding.