Nesta is an innovation foundation, with a role to stimulate innovation for the common good. Over the years we have experimented with many different ways of using money to achieve results - such as crowdfunding, equity, loans and social impact bonds (collectively called impact investment), challenge prizes, grants and intermediary funding, as we’ve backed thousands of innovators in public services, charities and social business.
In this guide, we summarise some of what we’ve learned about how to use money effectively. We set out the many options available to funders – who often tend to use just one or two methods and so miss out on others that might be more appropriate.
This guide is primarily aimed at funders – governments, agencies, investment organisations and foundations who provide funding for projects or organisations to support innovation.
We hope this guide gives them an insight into different financial tools that can be used to support innovations – what they are, how they can be used and what some of the challenges are around using them.