Background
The CSI was founded on 1 July 2006 as a central scientific institution of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. The CSI was opened as part of a public event at the University's Old Auditorium on July 5. Since its establishment, the Institute has rapidly grown and has become an important voice in the debate on social investment issues.
Mission
The Centre's mission is realized through four major objectives that guide its activities, and against which it will chart its progress and accomplishments over time. Specifically, the objectives are to - Improve the theoretical and practical understanding of social investment, philanthropy, civil society, and social economy institutions; - Inform policy-making relating to social investment and relevant institutions at local, regional, national and international levels; - Build managerial and governance capacity in the field of social investment, and foster leadership and organizational effectiveness; and - Monitor major developments affecting social investment in relation to markets and government institutions generally, and with reference to philanthropy and civil society institutions in particular.
Programme areas
- Research: carry out research relevant to social investment, philanthropy, civil society, and social economy.

- Teaching: co-ordinate teaching on social investment, non-profit organizations, philanthropy, and civil society across university faculties and departments; contribute to Ph.D., graduate and undergraduate education

- Convening: serve as the forum for, and intellectual engine of, policy debates in the field by bringing together practitioners, policy experts and researchers, nationally, in Europe, and internationally; provide a neutral platform for the development and discussion of new approaches and innovative thinking in the field

- Outreach: disseminate research results, teaching material, and policy-relevant findings to diverse academic and practitioner audiences as well as policymakers.