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

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