A campaign has been launched by Charity Bank to encourage charities, businesses and individuals to move their savings to an ethical provider.
The Follow the Money campaign aims to promote the benefits of ethical investment, a decade after the financial crisis.
The project will see 38 charities and social enterprises open their doors to showcase the positive impact that money saved with an ethical provider can have on society and the environment.
Charity Bank’s Chief Executive, Edward Siegel, said: “It’s easy to dismiss the possibility of achieving a social return as well as a financial return on your investments but saving ethically offers the chance to do both.
“By channelling money into charities, social enterprises and social businesses, your money is used as a force for good. It empowers these organisations to grow, innovate and build upon the services and support they provide to their beneficiaries.”
The campaign comes as new research by Charity Bank revealed that seven in 10 people believe charities should invest their savings and investments ethically. More than half (57%) of the 4,000 adults surveyed said they would prefer to buy from businesses that act ethically.
Charity Bank is now calling on charities, businesses and individuals to question how their savings are currently used. It’s asking them to consider whether that money could go beyond simply earning a fair return and be channelled into the social sector to help make a positive contribution to society.
Rebecca O’Connor, co-founder of Good With Money, said: “Our money does not exist in a vacuum – it does something in the real world, whether we are aware of it or care about it or not. Finding out how banks and other providers use our money can be fascinating and can totally change the way we think about our financial choices.
“Money has power. Where you put your money need not just be about finding the highest interest rate or lowest premium, it can be about empowering yourself to make a meaningful difference to other people and the planet.”
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One charity that has already put its money where its values are is Sussex Lantern, a charity that provides support and care to people with disabilities across the South East. The charity recently decided to move its savings of £85,000 from a high street bank to Charity Bank’s same-day notice account.
Gloria Wright, a trustee at Sussex Lantern, said: “The idea of our savings being invested ethically, and the ethos of lending to charities, is very important to us. We don’t have a specific ethical investment policy because we believe that everything you do should be ethical if you are running a charity. As far as I’m concerned behaving ethically should be part of the everyday high standards Sussex Lantern pertains to.”
Follow the Money, which is now in its 10th year, allows Charity Bank savers to see for themselves how their money is being used to support charities and social enterprises. This year’s 38-stop tour, which corresponds with Good Money Week (September 29 – October 5), started at the beginning of September and will run until October 5.
Follow the Money has received widespread backing from the social sector community.
Anna Laycock, Executive Director at the Finance Innovation Lab, said: “We need to transform the way we see money: as Charity Bank and their customers demonstrate, our savings and investments are a powerful tool for social change. If you’re a charity or business that isn’t yet banking ethically, now is the time to explore how it could benefit your organisation as well as society. It’s time we all started to Follow the Money!”
Andrew Croft, Chief Executive at CAN, which supports charities and social enterprises to scale up their businesses, said: “It is possible to have a positive impact on society whilst also being business-minded. Charity Bank was instrumental in CAN’s purchase of our first CAN Mezzanine building with a loan. This has prevented hundreds of social sector workers from being gentrified out of core London markets as commercial prices have rocketed.”
The Follow the Money campaign is supported by a host of social enterprises including NCVO, NAVCA, Social Enterprise UK, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Locality, Responsible Finance, Big Society Capital, Barrow Cadbury Trust, ShareAction, CAN, Clinks, the Finance Innovation Lab, Good With Money, The Ethical Company Organisation and Ethical Consumer.
You can keep up to date with the Follow the Money tour and show your support on the Charity Bank campaign page.