Project: Plain Language
As a result of a previous Connect Fund project, Key Fund has identified a number of barriers that reduce the take up of social investment by VCSEs; an important one being a limited understanding of legal and financial technicalities. An important element of this is complex and copious investment paperwork, which can be off-putting and confusing to the inexperienced reader.
Key Fund want to break down the barriers caused by legal jargon, technical language and formality, by creating a suite of open access, plain English social investment documents. It notes that legally compliant and technically correct documents cannot always be short, but they could be much easier to understand and digest.
To develop simple, plain English standard documents to aid social investment, Key Fund will work with solicitors to review and re-write a wide range of documents, including loan agreements, valuation instructions, guarantees and offer letters. The plain English versions will then be tested with an advisory group of intermediaries and checked to ensure they are legally compliant and technically correct.
The project aims to achieve greater understanding, fewer omissions and errors in paperwork and in positive feedback from other investors who adopt the model documents produced. Success will be defined by the response, feedback and uptake of the standardised documents by other social investment intermediaries and VCSEs.