You may recall that the Connect Fund was previously known as the “Social Investment Infrastructure Fund”. It doesn’t trip off the tongue. Introductions were challenging. Lucky for us, a clever wordsmith at Barrow Cadbury re-named us.
Infrastructure remains one of our key objectives. The fund provides grants and investment to develop shared infrastructure resources for a market that supports mission. The Connect Fund supports tools, partnerships and initiatives that advance a more open and accessible social investment market.
What does infrastructure mean?
By infrastructure, we mean social investment market intermediaries and support organisations, plus the shared processes, tools, networks and partnerships that enable best practice. In other words, the funds, brokers, advisors, platforms and practices that form the architecture of the market.
Infrastructure also relates to voluntary sector institutions that support the social sector, champion volunteering and advance charities or social enterprise in many local communities. The fund explores how these voluntary sector organisations, community foundations and membership bodies representing local, equality or sector perspectives, can engage with enterprise-driven funding solutions related to social investment.
Shared infrastructure can build a more open and accessible social investment market focussed on social mission. Better sharing of tools, data and resources can lower transaction costs, promote diversity and innovation, and facilitate learning and feedback to move social investment forward.The Connect Fund can bring new voices to social investment that represent the needs of the social sector.