An investment is intended to generate a return – to give something back to the person or organisation that owns it. In a charity context, investments are charity assets used to help the charity deliver its charitable purposes.
Usually investments are intended to provide a financial return in the form of money being earned for the charity to use (income) and/or by the value of the investments increasing over a period of time (capital growth).
However, investments can also involve other kinds of return in addition to a financial one, such as a social or environmental return, as covered in section 5.
A charity’s investments can involve a range of assets, for example: