The Social Business Trust (SBT) has published their latest Social Impact Report, outlining and quantifying the professional support it has offered to social enterprises across the country in the last financial year – of which The Reader Organisation was one beneficiary.
Utilising the commercial and industrial talents of a number of partners which include British Gas, Credit Suisse, EY and Thomson Reuters, SBT’s clear goal is to help transform the impact of social enterprises, meaning that more lives of the UK’s most disadvantaged people can be improved. It does this by pairing social enterprises which face challenges in scaling up their operations with specialist business expertise from its partners. Investment, whether it be in the transfer of knowledge, funding new resource or buying in new expertise to the organisation, takes a long-term view in order to help social enterprises grow.
For every £1 SBT receives as a cash donation, they invest £3 worth of grants and support in social enterprise projects, meaning that for every £100,000 donated, SBT on average grants £300,000 to social enterprises, and on average SBT’s portfolio enterprises have doubled their number of beneficiaries over the past two years. The Social Impact Report includes some impressive statistics: £3m worth of financial and professional support was invested by SBT in projects in 2013/14, with 144 volunteers engaged.
The Reader Organisation began working with SBT in mid-2013, with SBT investing £280,000 to help us reach and connect more people with great literature through the shared reading model. The support received from SBT has enabled us to grow in the areas of sales strategy, proposition development, impact measurement and strategic planning, and has allowed us to take two new members of staff on board – as well as reach over 13,000 beneficiaries.
You can read more about our work with SBT, including the perspective of the volunteers from British Gas who worked with to give us specialist support we have previously not had access to, in the Social Impact Report 2014: http://www.socialbusinesstrust.org/about-us/social-impact-2014