Funder's Spotlight: CAF

Author: Mandeep Chohan
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CAF logo reading Charities Aid Foundation

Opening in early 2024, CAF will be launching a mixture of unsecured loans and grants that will be available to social organisations operating across the UK, including those with international projects. 

The funds will be unrestricted, allowing organisations to invest in infrastructure and capacity building, which are often not covered by grant funding.
The fund will be open for applications on an ongoing basis.

What is social investment?
Social investment is the use of money to achieve a social return as well as a financial one. CAF lend to charities and social enterprises from money donated by their generous funders. And then they recycle that money to help even more social organisations.

As organisations repay, CAF use the same money to lend to other organisations looking for affordable, flexible finance. This means that one pot of money can benefit many causes, multiplying the impact of those funds.

What CAF look for in applicants:

  • Trading for a minimum of one year
  • The scale and depth of impact to people or the environment
  • Evidence that funding will make a difference in the community
  • How social investment could help an organisation become more sustainable, create jobs and opportunities
  • Evidence that an organisation has strong governance, appropriate legal structure and a sustainable business model to repay the loan

How social investment could help your organisation

  • Affordable and flexible repayable finance can help ease cashflow, develop new services or buy assets
  • It's unrestricted, allowing you to invest in infrastructure and capacity building, which are often not covered by grant funding
  • It’s unsecured, making it attractive for organisations that struggle to access finance from banks due to their lack of physical assets, such as property, that can be secured as collateral
  • It recycles funds – enabling many more organisations to be supported with one pot of money
  • It can help you diversify your income to ensure you continue to operate in the long-term
  • Taking on investment, and the feedback and challenges that come with it can bring discipline, rigour and transparency to an organisation, resulting in a more resilient organisation that ultimately has greater impact

Find out more and how to register your interest here.