News Column

Family Service Agencies and Social Finance: A Brave New World?

May 6 2013 12:00AM



TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/06/13 -- Counselling for men, women and children affected by domestic violence, support for stressed out parents, people who have lost their job and those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction - these are some of the services provided by family service agencies to shore up communities across the country.

But it takes money to keep them going and money is increasingly in short supply.

"Social finance", private capital investment in programs that serve the public good, offers a tantalizing new opportunity for revenue. Or could it be a path to a brave new world of business interests controlling the not-for-profit sector?

Social impact bonds guaranteed by government, social enterprise ventures, partnerships with big business and big financial institutions: what are these, really? Whose interest do they serve? Vulnerable people? Or their investors? Or possibly both? Is there a place where these interests intersect and can be compatible?

How do agencies that are very good at helping people deal with life's low points deal with the world of big money?

On May 6th and 7th, Family Service agencies under the auspices of Family Service Ontario, are meeting to learn more about social finance, its pitfalls as well as its potential for good. Speakers from the MarS Centre for Impact Investing and from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives will talk about what social finance is, its potential and its implications. Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente will sound an alert about the seismic shift in how governments are looking at funding social services in the future.

The Conference information: Social Finance For A New Era Sponsored by Family Service Ontario will take place at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, 475 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario, May 7, 9:00am to 5:00pm, University Room.

Family Service Ontario
Mary Wells
Office phone (direct line): 905-723-1718 or 416-231-6003
Cell phone: 289-923-9705
416-231-2405 (FAX)

Source: Marketwire

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