The gritty reality of social investment? It’s hard work, it’s high pressure, and it is certainly no replacement for revenue. However, those doing the work today will reap rewards in the future.
Against a backdrop of slashed grants and falling philanthropy, it’s easy to see why social investment is seen by many as a salvation.
The first lesson that we learnt, is that it’s not.
Social investment is a means to an end, a way to unlock opportunity. It isn’t a replacement for revenue – obvious, but not always understood. It works when there is a specific and measurable reason for taking on investment, a reason that fits within your organisational strategy. You wouldn’t shift your organisational purpose to access grant funding, and you shouldn’t take on investment for its own sake either.
Like many in the market we are on a journey to understand the potential of social investment. And we’re excited by what can be done. My organisation delivers across public services, in areas not typically associated with innovation, revolution or risk taking. To achieve fundamental transformation (both in ourselves, and our markets) we must look beyond traditional funding sources. Social investment is a key tool to enable this.