Social Investment - Is it right for you?
(A 5 minute self-assessment)
This quick tool will help you better understand whether your organisation should explore social investment as a way to fund a project or activity you are planning.

We suggest that it you complete it together with at least one other person, to get a balanced perspective.

This is an introductory assessment and guide only - it should not lead to any definite courses of action! Please read our caveats and warnings on the following pages.

Please ensure you hit the 'SUBMIT' button at the end of the survey.

This tool was developed by CAN Invest.
Assess yourself!
Hi, my name is Greg, and I'll be your 'quiz master' for the next 5 minutes!

What's your name? *

And which organisation are you representing?

Hi {{answer_PFCXPuksjOfH}}.  Nice to e-meet you.  Before we begin, I need to explain what this self-assessment does and does *not* do.

The purpose of this survey is to help organisations understand whether social investment is potentially relevant to their organisation and plans, and therefore whether it is worth exploring further.  However, and its a big however... with 6 questions only this tool is built for SPEED rather than thoroughness!... so it is an educational tool only, and is not intended to constitute investment, legal, tax or other professional advice.

Nothing in this self-assessment should be construed as a recommendation to acquire or dispose of any investment or to engage in any other transaction, or to provide or obtain any investment.

This 5-minute self-assessment is preliminary in nature, and as such, Bright Red Dot Foundation Ltd (trading as CAN and CAN Invest), will not provide any guarantee, representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy, and we do not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions in its provision.  

You should not rely upon the results of this diagnostic in making a decision to take on any investment / service or other decision, and you should obtain specific professional advice before making any decision of this nature.
Thanks, {{answer_PFCXPuksjOfH}}.  

One more thing.  The questions in this self-assessment will refer to 'your project.'  To make sure we're on the same page about what 'your project' is, I'd like to quickly explain what I mean by a 'project'.

By 'project', we essentially mean:

Any scheme of work or activity undertaken by your organisation, which you are considering gaining financial support for.

This can be the entire work/activity completed by the organisation or it can be a a very discrete piece of work / activity. 

This can be currently happening or it could be a future activity.

I hope that makes sense?  If it doesn't, simply answer the quiz from the perspective of the entire organisation.

Shall we get started?

Great.  I'll now ask you 6 questions about your project's social impact, risk, experience of delivery, financial repayment, and income.

Are you ready?

Each question has 4-5 scenarios.  Please pick the scenario that best describes your project, even if it's not a perfect fit.
Topic 1. Impact

How many of your project's beneficiaries, clients and/or users will come from low income backgrounds and/or disadvantaged groups? *

*Social investment often tries to support people facing different types of disadvantage.

Topic 2. Risk

Overall, how comfortable are your organisation's staff and Trustees/Directors with the idea of taking on financial debt? *

*With some sorts of investment, like debt, the organisation is legally liable for any repayments it cannot make.

Topic 3.  Experience

Your organisation's experience with delivering projects like the one you plan, and with investment/debt.
Project experience:  How much experience does your trustees/board and staff have in delivering projects exactly like the one you are planning? *

Experience of managing debt/investment:  How many of your board and staff team have directly experienced raising and successfully repaying commercial investment or debt in the past (e.g. for other organisations)? *

*Social investors require a fair amount of information before they decide to invest, and usually want to receive robust financial and other reporting after they invest.

Topic 4. Repayment

For the next question, you'll need to estimate the likely surplus/profit margin on your project...

If you don't know how to calculate this, you could calculate a simple 'profit margin.'  A calculator for this is available here:

For longer-term projects with different surplus/profit each year, you could consider calculating the 'internal rate of return', which is outlined here:
What is the likely average 'profit margin' or 'rate of return' over the life of the project ? *

*How financially attractive your project is to investors is usually related to how 'profitable' it is.

Topic 5. Income

Income profile: how well do you know your customers? *

*This could be members of the public, charities, companies, prime contractors, local authorities, or government. These can also be referred to as 'payors'.

Phew! That's the end of the assessment.

We're now going to talk through the results. And one favour to ask, please ensure you hit the 'SUBMIT' button at the end of the results.

OK let's have look at the results...

But as the tension builds... could you quickly tell us whether: *

Calculators doing their thing...

{{answer_PFCXPuksjOfH}}, I have to say it's looking interesting.

Your summary score for the quick, 6-question self-assessment is... {{var_score}} out of 24.

So, do you want to know what that actually means? *

It means you should explore social investment!

So where next? Well if you're an organisation based or working in London and working to help children and/or young people get in touch with us as we our Early Intention Fund may be able to help! Contact the Team at
If not, don't worry, there are definitely other avenues to explore and a good starting point for that is Good Finance ( - they have a useful tool to find potentially relevant investors for you. *

Ok, so you scored {{var_score}}/ 24.  

For organisations scoring between 7 and 14, we'd typically ask some more questions, before suggesting whether you should 'rule in' or 'rule out' social investment as a potential option for your organisation.

So where next? Well if you're an organisation based or working in London and aiming to help children and/or young people then get in touch with us as our Early Intention Fund Team will be able to help you better understand whether you rule in or rule out social investment! Contact Greg Woolley on 

If not, don't worry, there are definitely other avenues to explore and a good starting point for that is Good Finance. They have good resources available, including the following on Key thing to consider:   

And one final question before you leave... *

It means that unfortunately, social investment is probably not right for your organisation at this time.

You scored {{var_score}}/ 24.  For organisations scoring less than 7, we don't believe social investment is an appropriate option. However, if your organisation's responses change in future, it may become more relevant.  

In the meantime, for more information about social investment, one good website is:

And one final question before you leave...

Ok, to cut to the chase...  Social investment is not right for your organisation. *  

This is because you said that either:
a) your organisation doesn't want to take on any risk, no matter how small; and/or
b) your project will always operate at a loss and needs to be grant subsidised.  

We believe this means that social investment is not a good option for your organisation because:
- There is always * some amount of risk to taking on social investment;
- Taking on social investment requires the 'investee' to make a surplus in order to repay the investment.

* The only possible exception might be 'community shares', and then only if your investors expect to lose some of their money.  For more information about community shares and other options, this website may be useful:

Thanks for your time, {{answer_PFCXPuksjOfH}}.  

I hope you found this a useful tool!

(Please hit the 'SUBMIT' button on the next screen)


Thanks, {{answer_PFCXPuksjOfH}}
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