Social finance promises new funding for overworked charities — but is a loan just another burden?

Why It Matters

During the pandemic, charities have been working hard to meet increasing demands, despite a drop in donors and volunteers. The $755 million Social Finance Fund offers access to new financing — but with the majority of smaller charities unable to take on debt, many remain resource-strapped, despite our population’s growing needs.

This story is in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). 

In a 2018 letter to MP Jean-Yves Duclos, Imagine Canada’s President and CEO, Bruce MacDonald, wrote about his hope and optimism for the then-recently announced Social Finance Fund, helping charities, non-profits and social purpose organizations access new financing. 

Throughout his letter, MacDonald emphasized that, in order for a strong social finance market to take hold, social enterprises need to be supported by the government to access social finance loans. He wrote that, with a


For limited access, create a FREE account

Limited Time Offer

Unlimited Access

Only $24 for the year 

80% off the standard annual membership ($119.50)

Enjoy unlimited access to insightful social impact journalism, special reports, talks and events that fuel your learning, development and decision-making.

For group membership discounts, contact us.

Already have an account? Log in

These special introductory offer is not available to current subscribers of the same subscription type. Your payment method will automatically be charged in advance the introductory rate indicated in the offer above for 1 year, and after 1 year the indicated standard. Your subscription will continue until you cancel. Cancellation takes effect at the end of your current billing period. HST taxes apply. Offer terms are subject to change