Barking and Dagenham Giving (BD Giving) was set up in 2020 to give local people more opportunities to participate in local decision-making. Funding and investment decisions are made by residents to achieve social good in one of the most deprived and diverse boroughs in England. BD Giving provides funding to local businesses and non-profits.
While there are a growing number of impact-first social investors in the UK, BD Giving is the first to adopt a 100% community-led investment decision-making process. The Community Steering Group (CSG) advises BD Giving and is organised into a peer learning group. The group are all women – some are People of Colour, mothers, local business owners – each member brings unique professional and personal experiences, while having agreed on a set of shared values. All are residents of Barking and Dagenham.
The CSG designed an investment policy for the community that balances impact, risk, and return in investing. BD Giving recently selected Snowball, an impact fund, for its first investment. They have also launched an investment vehicle for local community enterprises – the GROW Fund – with the ambition to scale the BD Giving model while remaining true to their values.