Social Innovation Fund Ireland is the venture capital fund of the social innovation sector. Our purpose is to find back innovative solutions to address critical social issues in Ireland.
What is social innovation?
We define social innovation as the successful delivery of new approaches to meet social needs more effectively and sustainably than those currently available
Created by Government in 2013, every we raise in private philanthropy is matched by a euro from the Department of Rural and Community Development via the Dormant Accounts Fund. Since 2013, we have partnered with corporates, foundations, families and individuals to deliver over 20 Funds and support over 100 of the best social innovations in Ireland. We track our impact against the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG) Goals which enables us to measure our collective contribution to the Governments SDG Implementation plan.
Our mission is to provide growth capital and supports to the best social innovations in Ireland, enabling them to scale and maximise their impact.
Our vision is to create the world’s best ecosystem for social innovation in Ireland.
Achievements and Impact:
In 2018 we implemented several substantial governance policies for the first time, which are outlined below:
- Financial Policy: In 2018, we implemented new financial management procedures, systems and controls through the adoption of a new financial policy
- Risk Management and Register: We developed our first risk management policy and risk register in 2018.This is overseen by our Audit and Risk Committee, which in turn, makes recommendations to the Board. During 2018, we identified a total of 13 principal risks which are ranked in accordance with their impact on performance, prospects and reputation.
- Reserves Policy: In 2018 the Board approved a reserves policy. The Board aims to maintain its total unrestricted reserves level at six months of unrestricted months of its operational costs. During the year, the Board approved a €250,000 transfer to reserves to safeguard the continuity of our operations.
- Complaints Policy: In 2018, we also developed a complaints policy for applicants to Social Innovation Fund Ireland and all other stakeholders. We report annually on complaints received, and action taken, to make sure that the complaints system is working.
- Data Protection Policy: In 2018, we implemented a new data protection policy in line with GDPR requirements.
- Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Loyalty Policy: We maintain a strong conflict of interest and conflict of loyalty policy. The Board of Directors maintains a conflict of interest agenda item at all meetings and a conflict of interest agenda item is implemented at all levels of our Awardee selection process. Exclusions from application to our funds due to conflict of interest are listed in the terms and conditions of our application forms. Directors or others who have an interest in, or are connected to, an organisation applying for Social Innovation Fund Ireland support must first inform the Chair and CEO and must absent themselves during the decision-making process.
In 2018, we also undertook a number of other governance initiatives which include:
- Strategic Plan & Values: In 2018, we completed the development of our first three-year Strategic Plan 2018-2020. The document sets out our vision, purpose, mission, values, aims and objectives over the next three years. As part of this process, we reflected on our organisation’s values for the first time. Our strategic objectives will be reviewed annually with KPI’s set by the CEO and Senior Management Team. Annual/quarterly objectives are set by the CEO and approved by the Board.
- Annual Report & Financial Statements: We also produced our 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice Charities (SORP) and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) for the first time.
- Board Recruitment: In 2018, we also began the recruitment of new Board Directors and made two appointments. On appointment, Directors receive a formal induction programme and are provided with comprehensive briefing documents designed to familiarise them with our operations, governance and management structure.
- Board Sub Committees: Board sub-committees have been established in accordance with standards of good practice to support the work of the Board. There are five sub-committees: Finance Committee, Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee, Nominations Committee, and Remuneration Committee.
In light of the above achievements and initiatives undertaken in 2018, we are now ready to apply for compliance with the Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland for a Type C organisation.