Scope launches £20m bond programme

| November 1, 2011
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Disability charity Scope is to launch a £20 million bond programme to produce a new source of funds for its charitable activities.

The move will see the charity become one of the first in the UK to enter the capital markets.

The charity will team up with Investing for Good, a specialist social finance intermediary, in order to pilot the scheme.

As well as Investing for Good, the Scope Bond Programme has been developed with several other City partners including Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.

The Scope Bond Programme will list on the Luxembourg-based Euro MTF stock market and follows hot on the heels of last year’s introduction of the Grangewood Venture Philanthropy Project where investors were brought in to fund the construction of homes for people with multiple disabilities.

Commenting on the programme, Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, said: “The major cash investment that we hope to generate through the Scope Bond Programme has the potential to transform the support we can provide to disabled people.

“It gives us the opportunity to talk to a new and emerging network of prospective supporters and offer them an additional way of investing in Scope alongside traditional donations and philanthropic loans. This is a landmark development for Scope and could revolutionise the way we and other large charities raise finance for our work in the future,” added Mr Hawkes.

The funds raised will be used for charitable activities, rather than for commercial purposes and not only will it generate social benefits, but will bring financial returns to investors.

The launch comes after the Charities Commission, which oversees such organisations, introduced new guidelines to charities to encourage them to explore new ways of improving their financial or operational efficiency.

The prison service and other public institutions have already piloted so-called Social Impact Bonds but they have hardly been used by individual charities.

It is expected that other large charities may follow suit in order to address their funding requirements.

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