Impact for Growth: Trends and opportunities

What trends and opportunities in commissioning and social investment could inform the Impact for Growth strand of the Impact Management Programme?

The team at NPC carried out desk research and qualitative interviews to help us be more targeted and strategic in our approach.

Social investment 

The social investment market remains well supported by government and Big Society Capital (BSC) and there is increasing interest from mainstream financial investors too. Five outcome areas from the

BSC outcomes matrix have consistently received the largest amount of capacity building funding which should lead into contracts or investments: citizenship and community; employment, training and education; physical health; mental health and wellbeing; and families, friends and relationships.


The decentralised nature of commissioning means there is huge local variation and it is very difficult to predict future trends. Areas where where outcomes contracts are already delivering better results will continue to receive funding, such as youth employment, children’s services, homelessness and health and social care.

Focus for the programme

No single policy area stands out above others in terms of potential, so we will focus on the those ventures in the best place to bid for contracts. These organisations should have the following, which are drives of success in social investment and commissioning:

  • An approach that demonstrates how the service is solving the commissioner’s problem, such as models focused on demand reduction and prevention
  • A track record of successful delivery within a well led and run organisation
  • An established method of measuring outcomes, if not impact
  • Experience of working in partnership, especially for smaller ventures
  • Strong relationships with local authorities or other commissioning bodies
  • Factors that drive ventures’ success in commissioning and social investment

Download the full paper here.