In June 2019, the Government of Canada launched the Investment Readiness Program (IRP), a new $50M fund whose aim is to help social purpose organizations (charities, non-profits, social enterprises, for-profits with a social purpose and co-operatives) build their capacity to participate in Canada’s growing social finance market.

The IRP is also designed to help social purpose organizations prepare for the Government of Canada’s broader investment in social finance via the Social Finance Fund, a historic new $755M commitment which was announced in November 2018 and is expected to roll out over ten years.

Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and its regional partners have established program guidelines and will hold up to three rounds of IRP funding before March 31, 2021. Frequently Asked Questions (including program guidelines, what the IRP funds, etc.)

Four other national partners will likely have a similar IRP roll-out: 1) Chantier de l’économie sociale, 2) National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, 3) National Association of Friendship Centres and 4) Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Visit the Investment Readiness Program website for more information and resources.

Social Finance: A Means to an End

Social finance is repayable investment that generates a positive social, environmental and/or cultural impact.

How Social Fiance Can Be Used

  • Purchase an asset
  • Spend now to earn revenue later
  • Spend now to prevent costs later
  • Launch a social enterprise
  • Scale and existing social enterprise

Some good resources we have found that may help with your IRP application

Webinar Part 1: Introduction to Social Finance  (Canadian Women’s Foundation & Innoweave – view from minute 11 to minute 29:30)

Webinar Part 2: Leveraging Social Finance (Canadian Women’s Foundation & Innoweave – view from minute 6:50 to minute 37)

Why Social Finance? More about the growing social finance market

“The McConnell Foundation envisions a Canada in which the economy and social systems advance the wellbeing of all people, and in which the natural environment is stewarded for future generations. We use both our granting and investment strategies to achieve this goal.

“However, even the total combined resources of McConnell and all other Canadian foundations would be nowhere near large enough to solve Canada’s most intractable social, economic and environmental problems. And while the Canadian and global impact investing markets have grown, there is a recognition that to mobilize the $6 trillion required annually to achieve the global United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we urgently need to find new ways to help unlock and access the much larger pool of available investment capital capable of filling this vital financing gap.” (Above two paragraphs from McConnell Foundation – accessed January 8, 2020)