Photographed at the launch of the Social Value Report are Dónal Traynor, CEO of Community Finance Ireland, and Conor McGale, evaluation and impact manager - social value with economic development specialists Rose Generation Limited. Photo: Brian Thompson

Community lender supports groups in Mayo to grow impact

Social enterprise Community Finance Ireland (CFI) has been helping sports clubs, community projects, faith-based groups, and other voluntary organisations in Mayo to more than triple their impact in the last year.

That’s according to its Social Value Report 2023, which states that for every euro it loaned, a value of €3.69 in social return was achieved.

Since 2001, CFI has committed more than €110 million to hundreds of voluntary organisations throughout Ireland, funding initiatives that make a difference in local communities. The multiplier effect of the funding has enhanced groups’ delivery on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their local area, in particular innovation and infrastructure and health and wellbeing.

In Ballina, CFI funds were used by Ballina Boxing Training and Fitness at Dick Hearns Gym CLG for the interior set-up, equipment purchase, and overall fit out of the gym facilities.

Between January and December last year, CFI loaned a total €400,000 to six organisations across Connaught.

The analysis was calculated by economic development specialists Rose Regeneration using its Social Value Engine (SVE). Rose Regeneration’s SVE is used by public bodies across the UK and follows several key steps when calculating a loan’s social value, such as examining agreed project outcomes, to give them a financial value.

CFI Group chief executive Dónal Traynor said calculating the social return of their investments helped the charity understand the wider impact its loans were having.

“We’re delighted to see how this report reflects the positive impact our loans have on the wider community and how they support our clients to achieve the SDGs,” he said.

“For more than two decades, CFI has been helping sports clubs, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises to make a difference and we strive to create a lasting social impact in every community on the island.”

For more information about CFI, visit