Resonance has just wrapped up its first ever Fund, with all investments being returned within the agreed terms, alongside an outstanding social impact. Proud doesn’t begin to cover it. And all the incredible details can be found in our new social impact report.
2012 feels like a lifetime ago - so much has happened since then. That was when Resonance’s first ever fund, the Community Share Underwriting Fund (CSUF), was created with seed funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Too many community projects were being held back by their fundraising targets not being achieved. Put simply: they didn’t have enough money to get started. We wanted to see sustainable and resilient communities, so we’ve been building exactly that. And as a result, our new social impact report shows how the community projects we support are better equipped to handle the economic shocks like the one we’ve faced in the last few weeks.
Cut to seven years later, and over £3m has been deployed into fourteen community projects, unlocking a total value of £30.1m. But that’s just a small part of the story. I’m excited to share that the Fund has clearly demonstrated its effectiveness and impact through a total of £5.1m being directly underwritten by Resonance. And it doesn’t stop there – additional projects created by the community groups since our investment are now valued at an additional £12.8m.
During its operation, the fund has delivered both confidence and momentum to community share offers through providing an underwriting commitment. This means we’ve effectively contributed match funding to communities once 50% of their fundraising target was achieved.
The successful delivery of this Fund has also proven that new organizations can be ‘pump primed’ with investment, encouraging the public to join in, with the banks following after a couple of years of successful operation.
Combatting climate breakdown whilst fulfilling a local need is no easy task. But renewable energy projects such as a hydro-electric scheme on the Thames, solar panels on school roofs, wind turbines on a farm, and a biomass boiler were all delivered with investment from the Fund. This is saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. Want to hear what these community groups have to say? You can take a closer look at all of our detailed case studies in our social impact report.
I’m especially enthusiastic about the results for the Fund’s investors, which included Big Society Capital and a number of Foundations and Trusts. They had their investments returned within the agreed term, as well as having received target returns. The real life impact these investors have funded is illustrated in the report. It’s proof that teamwork pays off.
Looking ahead, we’ve created a new community asset fund that takes our seven years of learning from this fund (and our other fund, the Affordable Homes Rental Fund) and turns it into something new. Resonance Community Developers is our new fund, and we’ve already made two investments: one for affordable local housing in a Cornish town, and the other to develop a sports hub in Gloucestershire.
Personally, I’m incredibly excited to be taking Resonance to the next stage in community investment. Building resilient and sustainable communities feels more important now than ever. It’s such an honour to work alongside so many amazing investors and partners, who feel secure that Resonance can deliver the impact and returns agreed thanks to our solid track record.
Got a spare few minutes? You can read more about the success of the final year of operation of the Community Share Underwriting Fund in our seventh annual social impact report (have I said that already?). As well as the ongoing operation of the Affordable Homes Rental Fund, and our new Resonances Community Developers Fund.
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Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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