Powerful growth of funding for influence

For the year + 26.6%: more and more French people choose to save, contributing to matters of common interest. At a recent Fair-La Croix press conference, the association, which brings together 120 financial players, presented the twentieth edition of the Solidarity Finance Barometer. Last year’s results show a strong growth of the phenomenon, which has also changed significantly in recent years. In 2021, solidarity funding reached € 24.5 billion in assets, € 5.1 billion more than in 2020. In total, this amounts to 699 million euros, divided into about 1,350 projects with social or environmental impact.

Social and environmental goals

The target is social (housing, combating alienation, integration through activities, etc.) in more than half of the cases, environmental in 17% (organic sector, renewable energy, etc.), and 13% of supported projects related to territorial cohesion and local economy . “Historically, solidarity funding has largely solved social problems such as poverty or housing, but more and more participants are integrating environmental logic.“- explains John Salle, head of the Financial Observatory of Social Impact at Fair.

Solidarity savings come from different streams, all of which in different proportions have grown significantly in 2021. Of the € 14.1 billion, workers’ savings alone account for more than half of the debt. In 2021, it grew by 21%.in the continuity of recent years“, Says John Salle. In second place is the channel for collecting banks and fears worth 9.5 billion euros (+ 38% in 2021). Finally, direct collection from individuals raises almost a billion euros, or 15%.

These different flows are fed by three different types of financial products that are aggregated by the barometer. First, those labeled Finansol. The label, which was born 25 years ago, is run by Fair. This guarantees the saver that “all or part of the collected savings finance the activities and / or the solidarity project with different levels of solidarity depending on the nature of the investment “. And that” not less than 25% interest is paid on a regular basis (at least once a year) by the saver in the form of a donation to the beneficiary organizations“. The second type of products, saving solidarity employees who follow similar principles, even if they do not have Finansol labeling. And finally, the third type, insolidarity units of account», Life insurance contracts.

Regardless of the distribution channel,solidarity products are becoming more accessible. They can take many different forms. Some are very militant, others are very safe“- explains John Salle. Savers can, for example, invest in Railcoop, a cooperative railway company that offers short-haul travel, a project that affects both the environment and regional planning but has not yet demonstrated profitability. economic model. Or they can choose safe solutions, such as the very popular Agir booklet from Crédit Coopératif, which offers savers the opportunity to share 50% of their interests with the association.

Target: 1%

Gradually, over several years, the legislative and regulatory context encouraged solidarity savings. The latest news is that from January 1, 2022, the availability of solidarity accounts has become mandatory in life insurance contracts in accordance with the 2019 Pact Act. About ten years earlier, the LME law required companies to offer a solidarity fund. to its employees, as part of the company’s savings. Reducing the social package for these savings for ALL SMEs strengthened the system in 2019.

Result, proposal side “the market is structured by new participants“Says John Salle. For example, insurers create or distribute their own products. New units of account have appeared on the market. This is especially true of Novaxia R in Novaxia (€ 190 million in assets) or Sycomore’s inclusive jobs in sycomore AM (€ 105 million in assets).

New players appear, specialists in the “influence of private capital”. They invest in projects that combine profitability and support for the common interest, paying close attention to measuring the impact of this support. Like, for example, Alter Equity, the fund in which it investsa startup that promotes a more inclusive and sustainable world“The change began in the 2000s, when traditional finance players began to integrate criteria other than financial into their effectiveness. So their offer is now added to the offer of savings workers, initially more militant, such as Nef, a 1988-born banking cooperative.

In this decade, products called “exchange“, Which is to use the return on financial investment to support associations through donations. Ten years later, Solidarity’s savings were used with traced financial products that accurately indicated what savers’ money would be used for.

In the coming years, in fairness, solidarity finances must continue to grow. Supply should increase as distribution networks learn new products. And on the demand side, “Solidarity finance responds to the wishes of savers“Says John Salle. It meets the requirements of transparency by offering to invest in specific and identified projects, as well as to contribute to the common interest. And all this without giving up their own interests.

According to a study conducted by the Autorité des marchés financiers (2021), the profitability of solidarity ranges will not be lower than the profitability of traditional products. On the other hand, their financial costs would be lower … Twenty years ago, solidarity finances amounted to 500 million euros in assets and 0.02% of French savings. Today, this percentage has risen to 0.41%. For John Salle »this figure remains modest, but the growth of solidarity savings is faster than savings in general. Goal – to reach 1%“.