Special interest groups

ACF’s special interest groups provide foundation representatives in specific areas with an opportunity to connect with their peers for a small additional annual fee.


  • The Social Impact Investors Group (SIIG) is designed for foundations currently undertaking or interested in exploring social impact investing

  • The Finance, investment and resources management group shares good practice among senior foundation staff of larger foundations, typically those in a head of finance, finance director or COO role, in a friendly and confidential environment

  • Foundations for Social Justice

Social impact investors group (SIIG) 

Members can access the closed community here and can sign-up to receive a monthly e-newsletter by updating communications preferences in 'My account'. To learn more about SIIG membership, email Gemma Cartwright. 

The Social Impact Investors Group (SIIG) exists to support foundations interested in starting or currently undertaking social impact investing. Membership is open to foundations and to organisations with a charitable or social mission with investible assets. 

Social impact investing is defined by the OECD as "the provision of finance to organisations addressing social needs with the explicit expectation of a measurable social as well as financial return”. In practice this can involve a range of funding methods, from investing directly into frontline organisations or putting money into funds supporting a specific theme such as housing or ‘tech for good’, to participating in social impact bonds and ‘payment by results’ models. 

The SIIG has been operating informally since 2011 resourced by an active volunteer Steering Group, including representatives from ACF, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, City Bridge Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Big Society Capital, Bank Workers Charity, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Treebeard Trust and Trust for London.

Convened since April 2018 by the Association of Charitable Foundations, the SIIG runs a free programme of Market information days to raise awareness about social impact investment opportunities and a paid-for membership programme of learning sessions and resources. Members learn from each other and from more experienced foundations, allowing newcomers to build staff knowledge while reducing the costs of establishing a programme. 

The paid-for membership programme includes a series of learning events open to all SIIG members’ staff and trustees, covering topics such as how to assess and balance financial and social return, how to carry out due diligence, and exploring different types of investment. The SIIG also provides a toolkit of templates and exemplars for those establishing or running a social impact investing programme, and signposting to a range of learning events run by external partners. 

Market information days run every six to eight weeks to educate attendees about the latest social impact investment opportunities from charities, social enterprises, social purpose organisations and social impact funds. The days are mutually supportive with a focus on learning; newer investors learn from the questions posed by their more experienced peers, and those presenting are able to benefit from feedback on their ideas. The SIIG does not go further than providing a means for communication, any follow-up interactions or information shared relating to particular transactions is not the responsibility of the SIIG.  

The SIIG Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Charter contains concrete actions to improve diversity of thought and representation, ensure equity of opportunity and outcomes, and implement inclusive practice by broadening the range of experiences and perspectives we bring to bear in our processes and decision-making, to ensure better decisions are made.  

Access the SIIG (SIIG members only).

A full list of SIIG events is available in the ACF events listing.  To learn more about the SIIG, please contact Gemma Cartwright.  

Finance, investment, resources management group

About membership of the network:

  • Membership is restricted to charitable foundations with substantial investment portfolios (members do not have to belong to ACF)

  • Prospective members must be approved by the steering group

  • Each member foundation will nominate a named representative. An alternate may be agreed for individual meetings on an occasional basis as nominated by the representative

  • No professional advisor may be a member of the network, regardless of their connections to a foundation

Discussions within the network are confidential. This is an absolute requirement of membership. Unattributable concepts and ideas can be discussed more widely.

Access the Finance, investment, resources management group (Group members only).


Foundations for Social Justice

Foundations for Social Justice is a network of leaders of foundations working to promote social justice.
The group meets four times a year and provides:

• A thinking space to make sense of the changing context of work for social justice
• A safe environment for peers to share their ways of working, leadership challenges and opportunities
• Connections to a peer group of leaders
• The opportunity to learn from national and international practitioners

Through these meetings members identify, shape and participate in emerging collaborations.
Membership of Foundations for Social Justice is open to ACF members and there is an additional annual cost of £1450 to join.
You can read more about Foundations for Social Justice in a recent blog.

Access the Foundations for Social Justice (network members only).