Nicola Silverleaf

Nicola Silverleaf

Why do charities invest for income rather than to advance their mission?

This PhD explores the under-researched topic of investment by UK charities, using case studies, and applying New Institutionalist (NI) perspectives to explore why some wealthier charities continue to make financial investments purely for income and capital gains, and the extent to which others are making mission-related investments aligned with their charitable objectives.

Trustees may invest on the stock market for yield alone, generating income to support their grant making and other charitable activities, whilst maintaining the capital for future beneficiaries. This potentially misses the opportunity to apply the prevailing cultural norms of the sector and invest more intentionally, still retaining the capital but making it work harder.

This PhD is self-funded.


  • Peter Wells (Main supervisor)
  • Ellen Bennett (2nd supervisor)