Community and voluntary organizations are in line for € 20 million in new financing following a deal between Social Finance Foundation and the Council of Europe Development Bank.
The partnership is designed to increase low-cost loan funding to community and social enterprise projects across the country.
The € 20 million loan is for the three-year period 2022 to 2024. Social Finance Foundation is aiming to more than double its loan book to € 100 million by 2028.
The funds will be targeted at community and voluntary organizations, sports clubs and facilities, and social enterprises. A specific objective of the fund will be to support environmental and climate-action initiatives in communities.
Social Finance Foundation chief executive Brendan Whelan said the deal “helps in many ways, including the expansion of our loan book, the diversification of our funding sources, and improving the sustainability of our model by improving funding costs”.
Council of Europe Development Bank governor Carlo Monticelli, said: “Social Finance Foundation is focused on the most vulnerable regions and groups of people.
“I hope the loan can be transformative in the field of social finance for which this charitable organization plays such a pivotal role.”
Social Finance Foundation was established by the Government in 2007. Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the loan will “support vital financing to community organizations and social enterprises throughout Ireland”.
Social Finance Foundation provides liquidity and risk sharing to the social finance sector in Ireland. Most of the beneficiaries of the funding cannot be financed directly through commercial channels.
Social Finance Foundation has provided more than € 166 million in loan finance to community and voluntary groups since its inception in 2007. The foundation’s loan balances outstanding in December 2021 were € 48 million.