Last month I attended the Second Vatican Conference on Impact Investing, where impact investing experts and Catholic leaders came together to explore how the Catholic Church can use capital to help achieve their social mission. Seeing the Pope officially endorse impact investing was inspiring, and it reasserted my belief that the work we do at Calvert Foundation is key to creating a more just and equitable world.
Faith-based institutions and leaders have always been the bedrock of impact investing. Congregations, holy orders and faith groups alike all want to put money towards the social causes they care about, but realize they need a certain level of income to keep themselves afloat. Take for example, Sister Corrinne Florek, who inspired Catholic women across the U.S. to pool their money and invest it in non-profits and social enterprises whose work aligned with Catholic values. The interest generated from these investments now support the living costs for Sister Corinne’s fellow nuns.
Other denominations, such as Quakers, Methodists and Mennonites have also historically avoided investing in businesses and activities that are not consistent with their values. Their strong commitment to the SRI movement has contributed to the long-term growth of impact investing and the 21-year history of Calvert Foundation.
To date faith-based institutions have invested more than $84 million in the Community Investment Note, making up almost 10% of all Notes invested. Many of these institutions have been investing with us since we first began in 1995 and remain committed to our cause.
To honor our faith-based investors and open the door for many more, I am pleased to share with you all the start of the Jubilee Assembly, our official community of faith-based investors. The Assembly is inclusive of investors from all faiths, and brings together individuals, congregations and institutions who are all committed to investing in alignment with their values.
I would also like to introduce Jeffrey Dekro, our Director of Faith-based Investing, who came to us out of his passion to mobilize and grow the faith-based community of impact investors. Jeffrey has spent more than 30 years in community investing and founded the Non-Profit Energy Management Corporation and the Shefa Fund (now Bend the Arc).
This post was originally published on CalvertFoundation.org
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