Impact Investment Ready, a new initiative to help for purpose businesses and not-for-profit organisations explore potential impact investing activities and opportunities has been launched by Impact Investing Australia and Philanthropy Australia.
Comprised of two grant programs, the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is managed by Impact Investing Australia, and the new Impact Investment Ready Discovery Grant, managed by Philanthropy Australia.
Previously the Impact Investment Readiness Fund, The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is managed by Impact Investing Australia and provides impact businesses and mission-driven organisations with grants of up to $100,000 for business, financial, legal and other capacity building support from providers to secure investment.
Since its launch in March 2015, the Growth Fund has supported 16 organisations on their journey to investment readiness, unlocking over $37 million in impact investment capital. The fund was kicked off with $1.75 million from NAB, and as the grant reaches its next phase, a broader network of funding partners is being established to continue to drive market growth.
“The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is playing an important role in driving social innovation in Australia. It is supporting for-purpose businesses to connect with and attract impact investors, helping them to achieve scale and deliver greater social and environmental impact”, Daniel Madhavan, CEO, Impact Investing Australia said.
Impact Investment Ready Discovery Grant forms the second half of Impact Investment Ready. It provides not-for-profit organisations with grants of up to $50,000 to explore pathways towards financial sustainability and prepare for future impact investment through capacity building.
The Discovery Grant, established by Philanthropy Australia in partnership with NAB, who have contributed matched funding of $250,000, and funding partners: English Family Foundation, Rowley Trust, Snow Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, CAGES Foundation, Equity Trustees and Payce Foundation, aims to distribute $500,000 in grant funding to grow the investment pipeline and support sustainability of the sector.
“In order to address the social and environmental challenges facing Australia, we need a strong and vibrant not-for-profit sector with the capacity to develop and implement high quality impact investing programs. The Discovery Grants aim to kick-start this process,” Sarah Davies, CEO, Philanthropy Australia said.
Commenting on NAB’s support of impact investment, NAB’s GM Corporate Responsibility Jodi Geddes said “Our customers, from investors to social enterprises want to change the world for the better. We are proud of our leading role in impact investment and continue to grow this evolving market through banking expertise, shared value, grants and insights. The Discovery Grant, which builds on this, will help Not For Profits develop financially sustainable business models that will maximise their positive impact on society into the future.”
Impact investing is a growing field where investments are made into organisations, projects or funds with the intention of generating positive social and environmental outcomes, alongside a financial return. It has evolved in response to the growing challenges facing society, which are too large and complex to continue to be addressed or funded by government, the social sector and philanthropy alone.