One year into the pandemic, here’s what the social finance world has learned

Why It Matters

The federal government’s $755 million Social Finance Fund is expected to launch sometime this year, and the need for that capital is high. But design matters — and the government has a chance to implement a year’s worth of accelerated learning on the future of social finance.

MaRS will launch a $200-million fund that grants to social impact organizations based on results. Could this accelerate recovery?

Why It Matters

Deploying $200 million worth of funding to assist the social impact world will be welcome during the pandemic. Outcome-based models are relatively new, but appear to be gaining in popularity. However, it isn’t clear whether they actually provide the sort of innovative thinking they claim to.

Social finance’s ‘tipping point’: the inside story of how Canada’s ecosystem evolved, and what needs to come next

Why It Matters

Ten years ago, a concerted effort began to accelerate Canada’s social finance ecosystem. In 2020, this ecosystem faces the most significant social challenges yet – but is it ready? We spoke to those who helped build it, alongside international experts, to find out how far Canada has come, and what must happen next. This story is in partnership with MaRS.

What will social finance look like a decade from now? 12 leaders share their predictions

Why It Matters

The next 10 years will be critical to solving some of the world’s toughest problems. Climate change mitigation has a looming deadline (certainly within a decade). Poverty, food insecurity, and gender inequity are on the rise post-pandemic. And 2030 is the deadline for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. How will social finance contribute to solutions over the next decade?

Impact investing can go very wrong. Here are the three biggest pitfalls the social finance fund should avoid

Why It Matters

The social finance world loves to talk about the “win-win” of social and financial returns. Failures, however, get much less airtime. As the government’s Investment Readiness Programs helps organizations prepare for social finance, understanding potential pitfalls could prove vital to maximizing positive social and environmental impacts – and avoiding some negative ones, too.

Member Exclusive

Charities aren’t ready for social finance — here’s how they could be

Why It Matters

Social finance could help charities support Canada’s COVID-19 recovery and become sustainable, but many are not ready for investment. Two-thirds of charities don’t even know what it is. Having lost billions in revenue, charities cannot afford to miss out on new sources of income.