Community groups awaiting new €20m funding – The Irish Times


Community and voluntary organizations are awaiting new funding of €20 million following an agreement between the Social Finance Foundation and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

The partnership is designed to increase low-cost loan funding to community projects and social enterprises across the country.

The €20 million loan covers the three-year period from 2022 to 2024. The Social Finance Foundation aims to more than double its loan portfolio to €100 million by 2028.

The funds will be directed to 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 agreement “helps in many ways, including expanding our loan portfolio, diversifying our funding sources and improving sustainability. of our model by improving financing costs”.

The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank, Carlo Monticelli, said: “The Social Finance Foundation focuses on the most vulnerable regions and groups of people.

“I hope the loan can be transformative in the area of ​​social finance for which this charity plays such a central role.”

The Social Finance Foundation was set up by the government in 2007. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the loan “will support vital funding for community organizations and social enterprises across Ireland”.

The Social Finance Foundation provides liquidity and risk sharing to the social finance sector in Ireland. Most funding recipients cannot be funded directly through commercial channels.

The Social Finance Foundation has provided over €166 million in loans to community and voluntary groups since its inception in 2007. The foundation’s outstanding loans as of December 2021 were €48 million.

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