Invest in a community share offer
Go further than just donating money to a cause you support - now you can invest in community shares and become an owner of the causes close to your heart.
Thousands of people have already used community shares to support the pubs, shops, football clubs, heritage buildings, farms, woodlands and community enterprises they care about.
Like with normal shares in normal companies, you get rights as a shareholder - you have a vote on how it’s run and the direction the organisation takes. Unlike normal shares, regardless of how much you invest, you get one vote, the same as everyone else.
Like with normal shares, you can get a share of the surpluses if the business is doing well, but unlike them, you can’t sell community shares onto someone else. Depending on the terms of the offer you’ve inevsted in, you get your money back by withdrawing your investment, but that can only happen if the business you’ve invested in is doing well. And if its been doing really well, it could also have been earning interest for you.
Finally, like normal shares, you could also qualify for tax relief in the UK, so if the offer is eligible and you’re a UK taxpayer you could reclaim between 30-50% of the value of your investment in your next tax return.
What do I need to know before I invest?
You can find all the details about a particular community share issue on its offer page, including what the group will do with your money when they hit their target and what interest you might be able to earn.
Make sure you read through all the information on the offer page and contact the group if you have questions. Community shares aren’t covered by the FCA Investment Guarantee Scheme, so the onus is on you to understand the offer you’re thinking of investing in and as with any investment, you should only ever invest as much as you’re prepared to lose.
Some groups also offer rewards for different levels of contribution, over and above the rights you get as a shareholder which you get regardless of whether you put in £100 or £100,000.
How do I invest?
We’ve made it simple for you - just click the invest button, choose how much you want to invest and select your preferred payment method.
What happens after I invest?
There are social media links on the offer page you can use to let everyone know that you’ve bought community shares. We’d really encourage you to use them and to drive as many people as you can to the offer page so they can support the cause and invest also.
Each offer has a minimum amount it needs to raise in order to be considered a success. If it doesn’t hit this target, then no money will be drawn down and that’s the end of that.
Some offers don’t need anymore than this minimum, and so when that sum is reached, the offer is a success. Others will have a higher amount they can take, and they’ll keep on on going until either they hit their maximum target they can accept, or they come to the deadline for their offer.
When the money gets actually drawn down is up to the enterprise you’ve just invested in – some will take the money quickly, whilst others might wait until everything else is confirmed – there might be some grant funding they’re waiting for, or to sign contract – they’ll keep you informed about what’s happening and when.
After the money is drawn down, you’re legally an owner of that enterprise and have all the rights and responsibilities that come with that. You might get a share certificate from the enterprise showing how much you’ve invested, and get copies of the accounts and invitations to the AGM and to stand and vote in elections for the Board of Directors. If the offer qualified for a tax-break, you’ll get sent the forms to claim that a few months afterwards.