Questions and Answers

We appreciate that you likely have questions about Realize Fund I and our work. We hope the following text helps. You can find further information about the Social Finance Fund on the Government of Canada website and additional information on a shared website that the three fund-of-fund managers have set up. Please contact us with questions. If you have an idea for a product you’d like us to consider, please schedule a meeting with us.

Big Picture

Big picture, how does the Social Finance Fund operate to invest in positive social change?

The Social Finance Fund (SFF) provides three fund-of-funds managers with repayable investment capital. We use the government capital alongside private capital to invest in fund managers who in turn invest in social purpose organizations.

  • Fund-of-funds manager: There are three for SFF, each with its own investment strategy
  • Fund manager or product issuer (social finance intermediary): a financial entity making social finance investments, such as a credit union, community loan fund or private equity firm
  • Social purpose organization (SPO): an organization with a clearly articulated social or environmental purpose, such as a social enterprise, charity, nonprofit, cooperative or company
  • Social finance investments: investments aiming to generate positive social and/or environmental returns and financial returns, into social purpose organizations or social finance projects
How is Realize Capital Partners operating to invest in positive social change?

We have set up a fund, Realize Fund I. Accredited and institutional investors will invest alongside the Government of Canada. We aim to leverage a minimum of two dollars in private investment capital for each dollar in federal government capital.

Who is developing the social equity accountability framework for the Social Finance Fund?

This work is being led by the Government of Canada with consultation from the fund-of-fund managers.

What constitutes a social equity investment or gender equity investment is still being defined by the Government of Canada.

How are you measuring the impact of your work?

We are guided by our Theory of Change, which sets out the impact we’re aiming to have on Canada’s social finance market. We are finalizing metrics and outcomes connected to this and will begin reporting our progress shortly.

In addition to measuring the impact we have as a fund-of-funds manager, we measure the impact of the investments themselves in Realize Fund I. We assess, measure, manage and report on impact using the methodology developed by Rally Assets: the Rally Inclusive Impact Methodology (RIIM).

As a fund-of-funds manager for the Social Finance Fund, we have specific data collection and reporting requirements for the Government of Canada, many of which are still in development; these will certainly be a part of our assessment and reporting process as well.

We encourage you to read the RIIM overview on Rally Assets’ website.

What is the role of private capital in Realize Fund I?

We are raising significant private capital in the same vehicle as the public capital commitment we manage. This brings more resources to the social finance sector and both public and private capital will be invested on a pooled basis within our investment strategy.

Social Finance Intermediaries

AKA fund managers and product issuers

Who or what projects are eligible for investment?

We will be investing in fund managers and product issuers who are deploying capital in Canada for initiatives that are intentionally contributing a positive social or environmental impact. See our product form for more details.

What is your investment decision-making process?

Potential investments are initially screened for social and environmental impact. We qualify opportunities against our strategy and their potential contribution to our portfolio. We then undertake detailed due diligence to determine whether we have strong conviction that an opportunity will deliver on our risk-adjusted return expectations, a strategy’s expected impact outcomes, and contributions to the broader market’s development. Once opportunities are thoroughly considered, they are then reviewed by an investment committee. Decisions are guided by the fund’s LPA and IPS.

What type of investments are you making?

Realize Fund I is making investments in the Canadian private markets across a range of instruments including equity and debt.

Can we secure investment from more than one SFF fund-of-funds manager?

Yes. There are no restrictions against doing that.

We are seeking investment for a fund or product that is already developed or that we’ve raised previous capital for. Can you help?

Please submit your offering via our product submission form. Our investment team will review your submission against our strategy and contact you if we require additional information.

We are seeking support for a fund or product concept that is still in development. Can you help?

Let’s chat!

If you have a broad strategy to drive commercial returns and positive social or environmental outcomes (for example, an impact-focused venture fund, a green real estate development fund, a private credit strategy for sustainable businesses), please schedule a national strategies chat with us.

If you are looking at more of a community investment strategy to support underserved communities or regions (for example, a microfinance program for equity-deserving entrepreneurs, a community economic development fund or a loan fund for local nonprofits), please schedule a local strategies chat with us.

What do you mean by 'impact' strategies?

We mean strategies to produce positive social or environmental outcomes. We are seeking investment strategies that have a strong basis for creating these outcomes alongside their financial return goals. We are looking for partners where there is a sincere intention to generate these outcomes and a thoughtful approach to integrating consideration for creating these outcomes into their investment process. Fund managers should be giving consideration to how they will approach these outcomes throughout the investment lifecycle.

Do you consider environmentally focused strategies?

Yes, we consider investments that can generate positive environmental outcomes. We recognize that enabling a more equitable society requires addressing environmental challenges as well. We are also committed to focusing on how social equity can be advanced across the impact investment industry. That can manifest in the fund management teams we partner with, as well as who they are investing in. Opportunities that consider social equity in the context of supporting environmental outcomes are particularly relevant.

Social Purpose Organizations

How do we apply for a grant?

The Social Finance Fund is not a granting program. We are looking to support organizations that are seeking investment rather than grants.

Can you help us get in touch with managers that might invest in my organization or project?

At this stage, we don’t have capacity to do that. Part of our work does involve working with organizations to help them access capital. Please follow us on LinkedIn to be kept up to date.

We are seeking investment or funding for our own organization’s operations or growth. Can you help?

At this time, we are prioritizing investments solely in fund strategies and are not considering direct investments in individual organizations or projects. The Social Finance Fund hub is expected to eventually include navigation supports to help individual organizations identify investors with matching direct investment goals. We anticipate primarily supporting direct investment opportunities as a co-investor alongside our fund manager partners in organizations seeing strong commercial traction and validation and seeking additional investment to fuel their growth.