Community Investing / Microlending
Impact Measurement Can Drive Business Value (08/26)
The Global Impact Investing Network surveys impact investors and learns that in addition to environmental and social benefits, measuring their investments can improve financial performance.
Demand for Impact Capital in Southern Africa Faces Challenges (03/07)
The Global Impact Investing Network finds ample opportunities for increased sustainable investment in the region, but acknowledges that challenges to development persist.
Report Details Impact Investment Opportunities in East Africa (08/12)
The Global Impact Investing Network and Open Capital Advisors publish a country by country analysis of impact investing activity in the region.
At Yale, John Fullerton Presents on Regenerative Capitalism (05/15)
Speaking to the generation that will have to reverse the course of multiple crises, the founder of the Capital Institute envisions a holistic organization of social systems to replace the current reductionist and competitive approach. Third of a three-part series.
Regenerative Capitalism Seeks Radical Overhaul of Financial System (05/07)
John Fullerton, the founder of the Capital Institute, writes that the transition of an “antisocial” global financial system to one aligned with our understanding that “living systems are both sustainable and regenerative” is underway. But is the evolution decisive enough to solve the crises of our age? Second of a three-part series.
Market for Conservation Investments Expected to Grow Dramatically (04/03)
A first ever report on the practice of conservation investing, co-authored by The Nature Conservancy, anticipates that private investment will triple by 2018, from $2 billion to nearly $6 billion.
Report Analyzes Impact Investing Funds (03/09)
The Global Impact Investing Network reports on more than 300 impact investment funds that direct investments by foundations and high net worth individuals to social and environmental opportunities in North America and emerging markets.
Sustainable Assets Up by 76% Since 2012 (11/28)
The biennial Trends Report by US SIF reveals that consideration of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors by money managers has contributed to sustainable assets in the US that now total $6.57 trillion.
Extreme Weather and the Need for Resilient Power (10/31)
Clean Energy Group continues its Resilient Power Project with a report outlining strategies for financing energy generation alternatives that can remain operative during extreme weather events.
Wisconsin CDFI Wins 2014 NEXT Seed Capital Award (08/14)
Impact Seven, a nonprofit community development financial institution, wins the unrestricted $100,000 grant for its program for preserving affordable housing in multifamily rental units in rural Wisconsin.
New Jersey Creates Energy Resilience Bank (08/13)
The state-run bank will use disaster relief funds issued following Superstorm Sandy to help finance energy resilience by increasing the number of distributed energy resources.
Partnerships Between Government and Private Sector Needed to Bring Impact Investing to Scale (06/30)
Citing the Community Reinvestment Act as an example of effective federal support, a report from the US National Advisory Board calls for additional government action to help maximize the impact of community development initiatives.
Third National Climate Assessment Published (05/06)
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.
Automated Financial Reporting for CDFIs Launched (04/24)
The CDFI Assessment and Ratings System developed by CARS allows community development financial institutions to share quarterly performance data with their investors.
$10 Million Investment to Prevent Coffee Rust (11/13)
A coalition including Green Mountain Coffee helps fund Root Capital's Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative, which seeks to stabilize supply chains by battling the coffee leaf rust fungus in Central America.
CDFI Fund Awards over $172 Million to Community Development Financial Institutions (10/01)
191 community development financial institutions will use awards from US Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to provide lending and investments in low-income and economically distressed communities.
Three Community Lenders Awarded $8.25 Million (09/18)
Opportunity Finance Network presents the 2013 Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance to three community lenders for their pioneering strategies for financial products and services in low-income communities.
Global Impact Investing Network Publishes Guide to ESG Metrics for Investors (09/05)
The Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) is a set of metrics designed to evaluate both a corporation's financial performance and its environmental, social, and governance impacts.
Community Investment Practitioners Urged to Diversify Approaches (08/27)
A new report published by US SIF notes barriers to increased community investment but finds that the industry is poised for expansion if practitioners can diversify products and marketing.
Impact Economy Produces Analysis of Impact Investing (08/20)
The authors identify trends that are likely to encourage an increase in impact investing, but fail to distinguish the definition for it from that of sustainable investing.
US SIF Offers Guides on Climate Change Investment for Retail and Institutional Investors (08/15)
Warning of the urgent crisis that is climate change, the guides provide basic information on voting proxies, filing shareowner resolutions, and public policy advocacy.
Report Touts Inclusive Business as Means for Reducing Poverty in Africa (05/10)
The African Facility for Inclusive Markets calls on diverse stakeholders to help create appropriate conditions for the growth of inclusive business in Africa and bring the benefits of economic growth directly to the poor.
US SIF Launches Online Course on Sustainable Investment (04/18)
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment launches the Center for Sustainable Investment Education and the first online course offering of its kind in the US.
Root Capital Surpasses $500 Million in Lending to Agricultural Businesses (03/28)
Helping to address a need that has been estimated at $450 billion, the agricultural lender anticipates $1 billion in loans over the next five years to small agricultural businesses in developing nations.
Sustainable Investment Forums Form International Alliance (01/29)
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, consisting of seven major sustainable membership organizations, publishes a survey of global trends in sustainable investment.
Sustainable Investment Assets Continue Growth in Canada (01/17)
The biennial report by the Social Investment Organization of Canada reveals that sustainable assets under management now represent 20% of the total.
US SIF Publishes Biennial Sustainable Investment Trends Report (11/24)
The 2012 Trends Report notes a total of $3.74 trillion in assets allocated to sustainable investment, a 22% increase over a two-year period.
Community Capital Management Invests over $4 Million on Behalf of Sustainable ETF (11/21)
The Florida-based fixed income investment manager, one of the portfolio managers for the AdvisorShares Global Echo exchange-traded fund, invests in projects that promote job creation and provide housing for low- and moderate-income residents.
Muhammad Yunus, Father of Microcredit and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, to Address SRI Conference (09/05)
The founder of the Grameen Bank will be the keynote speaker at October's SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, which will also feature author Deepak Chopra and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Second of a two-part series.
Rebranded, the SRI Conference Heads East (09/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with Steve Schueth of First Affirmative Financial Network about the history of the conference and the decision to locate it at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut this year. First of a two-part series.
Treasury Bonds Issue Will Help Fund Clean Energy Deployment (08/28)
The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act would both provide for the sale of US Treasury Bonds to help finance clean energy technologies, and extend the federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy.
Emerging Markets ESG Updates Database of Contacts (08/18)
SocialFunds.com talks with Geoffrey Mazullo, whose twenty years of involvement with environmental, social, and corporate governance issues in emerging markets have provided him with a wealth of data and contacts compiled in a unique resource.
A Record Amount of Dollars Awarded by CDFI Fund in 2012 (08/14)
Almost $187 million is awarded to 210 community development financial institutions that provide financial services to distressed communities that are often overlooked by mainstream financial institutions.
How to Fund a Sustainable Food System (08/09)
RSF Social Finance publishes a report on steps investors can take to help build a just and sustainable food system in the US.
Finalists for 2012 Wells Fargo NEXT Awards Announced (08/01)
Three community development financial institutions are named as finalists for $8.25 million award to expand affordable housing, health care, or community facilities in distressed markets.
PRI Publishes Case Studies of Sustainable Investment (07/27)
A report provides examples of sustainable investments by CalPERS and other signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment, and argues for government policies to help mitigate the risks of such investments.
College Endowments Lagging in Sustainable Investment (07/19)
Once leaders in sustainable investment and shareowner advocacy, college and university endowments now lag behind many mainstream institutions in the uptake of environmental, social, and corporate governance investment criteria.
Community Investment Options Increase but Barriers Remain (07/04)
A report from US SIF details an increasing number of community investment options, but low awareness, perceptions of low returns and high risk, and increased regulatory scrutiny remain as barriers to a wider uptake of the practice.
Time for Investment in Africa Is Now (06/07)
The second annual Ernst & Young survey of investment in Africa finds a distinct perception gap between the overwhelmingly positive responses of investors already doing business in Africa, and the possibly outmoded views of those who do not.
Advocates for a Fair Economy Call for End to Payday Lending by Banks (06/06)
A coalition including several sustainable investment organizations ask federal regulators to investigate banks offering payday lending, which can trap low-income borrowers into a cycle of debt with interest rates as high as 417%.
New Exchange Traded Fund Will Support Sustainability Themes (04/21)
A portion of the assets of AdvisorShares Global Echo ETF will support the Global Echo Foundation, a charitable foundation co-founded by Philippe Cousteau.
Shared Interest to Reach More Low-Income South Africans (04/19)
The investment fund's Campaign for the Next Generation seeks to provide opportunities for an additional 500,000 low-income South Africans, while reforming the practice of mainstream banking.
$1 Million Grant to Automate Reporting by Community Development Financial Institutions (03/28)
The grant from Citi Foundation will help the CDFI Assessment and Ratings System automate its financial performance data collection system for community development financial institutions.
Initiative of Calvert Foundation Seeks to Invest in Women (03/15)
A $1 million grant from the Citi Foundation launches the Calvert Foundation's Women Investing in Women Initiative, which seeks to raise $20 million for economic opportunities for women.
Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance Publishes Compendium of Case Studies (02/16)
The Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance wraps up its first year with case studies designed to help provide sustainable financial products and services to the world's poor.
UN Adaptation Database Highlights Corporate Sustainability Efforts (01/30)
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change publishes an online database featuring case studies of climate change adaptation activities undertaken by private companies.
Climate Change and COP17 from an African Perspective (01/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with Graham Sinclair, President of AfricaSIF, about his impressions of the recently concluded climate change conference held in South Africa.
New Report Surveys Current State of Impact Investing (12/16)
The Global Impact Investing Network finds that impact investors often provide debt investments to microfinance institutions in emerging markets, but provides little to distinguish the practice from sustainable investing.
Crowdfunding to Help Small Business Development in Underserved Communities (11/07)
Opportunity Finance Network and Starbucks collaborate on Create Jobs for USA, which will leverage donations to fund small business job creation in communities hit hardest by the recession.
Report Surveys Ten-Year Performance of Community Development Banking Institutions (09/05)
The National Community Investment Fund reports that community development banking institutions have risks and returns comparable to mainstream banks, while offering far greater social impact.
Bond Program Will Increase Funding for CDFIs (08/26)
Mark Pinsky of the Opportunity Finance Network talks with SocialFunds.com about the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, which will allow community development financial institutions to access $3 billion in guaranteed financing.
AfricaSIF Co-Founder Describes Challenges to Sustainable Investment in Africa (08/24)
Graham Sinclair talks with SocialFunds.com about a recent report he authored on sustainable investment in sub-Saharan Africa, and the challenges to mainstreaming the practice on the continent.
Community Development Financial Institutions Anticipate Expanding Services (08/17)
Mark Pinsky of Opportunity Finance Network talks with SocialFunds.com about the challenges and opportunities of providing financial products and services to low-income communities over the next 15 years.
Finalists for 2011 Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards are Announced (08/03)
The annual awards are given to community development financial institutions that demonstrate innovative solutions for economically distressed communities and underserved people in the US.
Report Studies Impact Investing in Emerging Markets (06/07)
Responsible Research finds that while challenges to effective measurement of social and financial benefits persist, the opportunities for impact investors in emerging markets are likely to grow.
Spare Change Adds Up for Microfinance (06/04)
A new campaign by MicroPlace helps raise awareness of the power of microfinance to lift people out of poverty.
Nine More Countries Added to MicroPlace (05/09)
MicroPlace brings the number of countries they make microfinance loans in up to twenty.
SRI Assets Surge Ahead (03/06)
New socially responsible investing study reports one dollar out of every nine dollars under professional management is invested responsibly.
MicroPlace: Microfinance for the Masses (02/24)
US investors with as little as $100 can help fight global poverty at eBay owned MicroPlace.
Microfinance: Catch the Swelling SRI Wave (01/11)
The microfinance sector offers socially responsible investors a growing arena to create positive social and financial growth according to a new Deutche Bank study.
Buying and Selling Loans for the Good of Communities (12/19)
The Community Reinvestment Fund USA offers investors a way to help keep capital flowing into community development organizations.
Giving to the Givers: Honoring Community Development Organizations (12/14)
The Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance names ACCION Texas and the Latino Community Credit Union for its 2007 $8.25 million prize.
JPMorgan Chase Committed to Helping Low- and Moderate-income Communities (08/29)
Reporting in its third year, Chase is on target to invest $800 billion over ten years to benefit low- and middle-income people and neighborhoods.
Book Review-A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty (08/03)
Phil Smith and Eric Thurman offer a primer on microcredit for businesspeople who want the best bang for their charitable bucks.
One and Two Percent Allocations Add Up for Social and Community Development (07/18)
TIAA-CREF allocates 2% of its Social Choice account for proactive social investments and the Social Investment Forum and Co-op America's 1% or More for Community campaign aims to double the amount invested in community development.
Helping Close the Capital Gap in Africa: Two Big Investments in African Microfinance (07/17)
More than half of all South Africans still have no access to banking reports Shared Interest, a non-profit investment fund that guarantees bank loans for South Africa's poorest communities. Many Africans suffer from lack of available capital, where only 7 million of Africa's estimated 940 million people had access to microcredit in 2005, according to the State of Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2006.
MMA Helps People Far and Near With its New OneWorld Community Development Investment Program (07/11)
MMA and the Mennonite Economic Development Associates have created a program for investors to help capital reach poor neighborhoods in the US and abroad.
Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance Honor CDFIs (07/05)
Three heavy-hitters come together to support community development financial institutions with $42.5 million pledged over the next five years in grants and loans.
One and Two Percent Allocations Add Up for Social and Community Development (06/18)
TIAA-CREF allocates 2% of its Social Choice account for proactive social investments while the Social Investment Forum and Co-op America's 1% or More for Community campaign aims to double the amount invested in community development.
New Fund for Affordable Housing In Latin America (02/22)
With $100 million pledged from OPIC, the Alsis Latin America Fund supports home construction and local capital markets in Latin America.
MicroVest Secures Mutual Fund Investor (01/17)
Meritas Jantzi Social Index Fund Invests with MicroVest
Book Review--Make Poverty Business: Increase Profits and Reduce Risks by Engaging with the Poor (01/09)
The co-authors provide a blueprint for on-the-ground managers of multinational corporations to create sustainable profits and reduce country risk by helping alleviate poverty.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2006 (01/05)
Green investing booms, microfinance pioneer wins Nobel Peace Prize, shareowner democracy increases, resolutions receive record votes, and UN launches Principles of Responsible Investment
Merrill Lynch Uses CDFI Assessment and Ratings System on $93 Million Community Investment (11/08)
While many investors use the CARS ratings as secondary information in their community investment decisions, Merrill Lynch will use it as its primary underwriting tool.
Nobel Prize Links Microfinance to Peace (10/17)
The granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank breaks new ground by explicitly linking economic development to peace development.
Microfinance Crosses Continental Divide with $100 Million Commitment from TIAA-CREF (10/09)
TIAA-CREF inaugurated its Global Microfinance Investment Program by purchasing from ProCredit Holdings $43 million in private equity shares, a new strategy in microfinance.
Calvert and Ford Foundations Help Launch Public Radio Fund to Democratize the Airwaves (08/10)
The foundations jointly seeded $4.5 million in the revolving loan fund administered by Denver-based Public Radio Capital to provide low-interest loans to public radio projects nationally.
The Pages of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (07/28)
Books addressing climate change dominate the fourth annual SocialFunds.com Summer Reading List recommended by socially responsible investing and corporate social responsibility leaders.
Survey Reveals TIAA-CREF Investor Desire to Up Commitment to SRI (07/17)
TIAA-CREF promises to respond to participants, of whom over three-quarters prioritize social and environmental considerations in investing choices.
Missouri Farmers Union Credit Union Supports Sustainability in Low-Income Rural Areas (07/10)
The new credit union supports cooperative entrepreneurial models that advance social responsibility and environmental sustainability in low-income agricultural regions.
The Numbers--and the Stories Behind Them--on Community Development Financial Institutions (06/02)
CDFI Data Project recently released the most comprehensive report on the CDFI industry, with statistics documenting CDFI growth and case studies illustrating positive social impacts.
Using the Same Tape Measure: MicroRate To Launch Tool for Rating Microfinance Funds (05/24)
The rating tool, a project supported by Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, Omidyar Network, and Gates Foundation, is yet another step toward establishing microfinance as a distinct asset class.
Ecological Community Loan Pool Directly Links Ecologically Minded Investors to Eco-Preneurs (05/23)
The portal created by Ecostructure Financial tweaks the community development financial institution model to allow investors to lend directly to startups solving environmental problems.
Enterprise Social Fund First to Tap Corporate Community for Community Investing (04/12)
The fund partners Enterprise Community Partners, which will manage the portfolio, with Deutsche Bank, which will seek investment from socially responsible companies and individuals.
Common Good Bank Advances One Branch of Community Investing Evolution (04/05)
The bank promotes the common good by distributing excess profits to the community and by making all lending and spending decisions through participatory democracy.
Thirty Years and Counting: Cofounder Wayne Silby Recounts the Birth of Calvert (03/18)
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Calvert, SocialFunds.com speaks with co-founder Wayne Silby about its genesis, development, and future.
Social Investment Forum Trends Report Tracks Rises and Falls of Socially Responsible Investing (01/26)
The 2005 report documents increases since 2003 in assets overall in SRI, in SRI mutual funds, and in shareholder advocacy, but decreases in overall screened assets and in screened separate accounts.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2005 (01/05)
Socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, and microfinance embraced by the mainstream; shareowner advocates withdraw several climate change resolutions as companies agree to report; and exchange traded funds apply SRI strategies.
Socially Responsible Investing Advances Anti-Racism in Helping Rebuild New Orleans (12/12)
In addition to supporting community investment and leveraging influence through shareowner advocacy, social investors can help rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina by naming root problems.
Fonkoze Helps Transform Microfinance to Reach the Poorest of the Poor in Haiti (11/18)
After convening a summit on how to modify microfinance to serve the extreme poor, Fonkoze adapts a model pioneered by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee.
Consortium Advances Microfinance as an Emerging New Asset Class (11/09)
The Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium, with its $75 million fund, links mainstream financial institutions to socially responsible investment practitioners with microfinance experience.
Community Development Financial Institutions Spread Like Wild Grass in Indian Country (10/25)
First Nations Oweesta Corporation serves as a national umbrella organization providing the structural framework and organizational support to fuel current exponential Native CDFI growth.
Scaling Community Investment: Report Addresses Growth in Community Development Finance (10/19)
An Aspen Institute report serves as the basis of a series of conferences at regional federal reserve banks on how to best scale up community investment.
Rising Oil Prices Fuel Investment Returns in Renewable Energy for New Alternatives Fund (10/14)
The first environmental mutual fund is also globalizing its reach to capitalize on innovative developments in alternative energies in other countries.
Changing of the Guard: Vanguard Pulls a Switcheroo on SRI Index Providers (10/06)
Vanguard is swapping the benchmark for its socially responsible investing index fund from the Calvert Social Index to the FTSE4Good US Select Index.
Community Investment Bridges the Gap from Destitution to Restitution After Hurricane Katrina (09/20)
Predominantly low-income African Americans were barred from crossing the bridge out of New Orleans, but now community development bridge loans are spanning the gulf back to stability.
Arthur D Little Study Identifies Trends in Sustainability Innovation (08/10)
The report finds increasing corporate commitment to sustainability innovation, though it demonstrates room for more growth.
Oneida Nation Loan to Lakota Fund Marks First Intertribal Community Development Financing (07/20)
While the World Bank Global Fund for Indigenous Peoples covers only developing nations and socially responsible investors have yet to support the Lakota Fund, a fellow tribe fills gap.
TIAA-CREF Creates New Director of Social Investing Post But Refrains From Some SRI Strategies (07/15)
TIAA-CREF enhances its proxy voting and practices some community investment, but finds obstacles to supporting community development financial institutions and SRI venture capital.
Appalachian Federal Credit Union Celebrates Silver Anniversary With New HQ (07/12)
With $16 million in assets, AFCU helps counteract poverty in one of the poorest regions of the US by providing fairly priced loans to low-income earners, even those with bad credit histories.
The Calvert Group Funds Film on Social Entrepreneurs Airing on Public Broadcasting System (06/24)
One segment of the film profiles Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the microcredit model promoted by Calvert Foundation and other community investment advocates.
Women's Equity Mutual Fund Supports Businesswomen Through Screening and Now Microfinance (06/17)
Subadvisor Walden Asset Management provides research on how companies treat women, and Blue Orchard Finance provides a new securitized product supporting microfinance institutions.
Mount Holyoke First US College to Dedicate Fund Exclusively to Community Investment (06/14)
While other schools have devoted some funds to community investment, this move by the Massachusetts-based women's college sets precedent and may lead to its use of other SRI strategies.
Microfinance and Donor-Advised Fund Provide Tsunami Relief (05/27)
A Grameen Foundation USA report examines barriers and opportunities for using microfinance as tsunami relief, and the Calvert Foundation funnels donations to tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka.
CARS Hits the Road: First Seven Community Development Financial Institutions Rated (04/15)
The National Community Capital Association CDFI Assessment and Rating System has another 11 ratings in the works, and expects to by fully operational by 2007.
Not Just for Corporations: Six Microfinance Banks on Three Continents Use GRI Guidelines (03/16)
Microfinance institutions in Africa, Asia, and South America are issuing sustainability reports using Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, as are other non-corporate entities such as GRI itself.
Community Credit Union Brings Hope to Low-Income Residents of the Mississippi Delta (03/03)
Hope Community Credit Union launched a $15 million initiative supported by corporate investment and New Markets Tax Credits to promote economic justice in the Mid-South.
Bush Budget Ghettoizes 18 Community Development Programs, Slashing Their Funds (02/16)
Community development advocates criticize the proposed budget for fiscal year 2006, as the consolidated programs will have to compete with one another for a smaller pool of funds.
Community Investment Surpasses the $1 Billion Mark at The Rock (02/03)
The Prudential Financial Social Investment Program, one of the oldest community investment programs in the country, has distributed more than $1 billion before its 30th anniversary.
Calvert Foundation Community Investment Notes Go Electronic (01/27)
For the first time, individual and institutional investors will be able to support community investment in the same way they transact most other investments--via computer.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2004 (01/11)
Shareowner engagement shifted from confrontational to collaborative, sustainability analysis fused with financial analysis, and fiduciary duty expanded to include social and environmental issues.
Bushwick Cooperative Federal Credit Union Democratizes Financial Service in Brooklyn (12/23)
This three-and-a-half year-old community development credit union fills the gap left vacant by formal sector financial institutions, empowering members through financial education.
Fonkoze Partners With Zanmi Lasante to Link Microfinance and Health in Haiti (10/22)
The largest microfinance institution in Haiti teams with a renowned community health provider to launch a new bank and hospital in a rural village.
FDIC Proposes Rule Watering Down Community Reinvestment Act Requirements (10/19)
The SaveCRA.org website promotes opposition to the rule change, posting information and a sample letter to file with the FDIC before the end of the comment period tomorrow.
Blueberries, Bats, and Barns: How Community Investing Aids Small Family Farms (09/29)
The Community Investing Program of the Social Investment Forum and Co-op America honors nine community investment organizations for assisting small family farms.
First and Largest International Microfinance Bond Issued (08/18)
Grameen Foundation USA joins forces with two socially responsible investment firms to issue a $40 million bond to support microfinance institutions in nine developing nations.
CRAFund Goes Retail (08/10)
Formerly available only to institutional investors, the Community Reinvestment Act Qualified Investment Fund is now available to individuals through Charles Schwab.
Microcredit Development Fund Helps Transform Household Scraps into Sustainable Entrepreneurship (08/05)
The Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development Fund seeks to alleviate poverty worldwide by helping microfinance institutions grow to scale and achieve sustainability.
Assets in CDFIs Grew Twice as Fast as Those in Commercial US Banks (07/20)
A new study of community development financial institutions highlights several key distinctions between CDFIs and mainstream financial institutions.
Community Investment Institutions Managed By and Benefiting African Americans (06/16)
Generations Community Credit Union, Carver Bancorp, and UrbanAmerica are three African American managed community investment institutions.
Sarona Supports Microfinance To Help Alleviate Poverty in Developing Regions (06/03)
The Sarona Global Investment Fund finances starch processing in Paraguay, a foundation supporting small enterprises in Romania, and a savings and loan cooperative in Haiti.
Matchmaker Boosts FDIC Limit to $5 Million for Community Development Banks (05/18)
A new system allows community development banks to trade portions of deposits, upping the amount covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to $5 million.
Community Foundations and Community Investment: An Obvious But Underused Link (04/23)
The Vermont Community Foundation recently broke new ground by launching a first-of-its-kind community investment program with the support of the Calvert Foundation.
Into Africa: The Paradox of Socially Responsible Investing in the Developing Continent (04/01)
To support sustainability in Africa, social investors can invest directly outside the SRI community, or else they can pursue community investment and shareowner action.
Starbucks Provides Loan Capital for Coffee Farmers (03/16)
Starbucks is providing a $1 million loan to the Calvert Foundation to support microfinance to Latin American coffee farmers, and it answers critics of its Fair Trade commitment.
Study Finds Loans to Low-Income Borrowers No More Risky than Conventional Loans (02/25)
Research released yesterday finds that community development financial institutions serving low-income clients have a lower rate of loan write-offs than mainstream banks.
The Leviticus Fund Helps Shelter the Homeless and Provide Care for Children (02/05)
In its third decade, the Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund lending program continues to grow and now offers a return for social investors.
Community Investment Advocates Question Bank of America/FleetBoston Merger (01/23)
Bank of America is responding to critics of its proposed merger with FleetBoston.
Top Five Social Investing News Stories of 2003 (12/19)
The major social investing news stories of the year include SEC reforms, stock exchanges mandating social, environmental, and corporate governance practices, and climate risk assessment defined as a fiduciary duty.
US Community Investment Assets Nearly Double Over the Past Two Years (12/10)
Community development financial institution assets rise 84 percent from 2001 to 2003, making community investment the fastest growing segment of socially responsible investing.
From Pallet Shacks to Cinderblock Homes: Microfinance Loans on the Mexican Border (12/04)
CHF/Mexico addresses an acute housing shortage by providing technical assistance and affordable loans to low-income families.
As, Bs, and Cs: New Rating Tool Grades Community Development Financial Institutions (11/11)
The National Community Capital Association launches CARS: the CDFI Assessment and Ratings System.
SRI Growing Amongst European Institutional Investors and in Asian Emerging Markets (10/17)
Two new reports document the status and prospects of sustainable and responsible investment in Asian emerging markets and with European institutional investors.
SRI Money Market Accounts Earn Competitive Financial Returns (09/24)
In addition to offering social and environmental returns, socially responsible investing money market accounts generate competitive financial returns compared to their non-SRI counterparts.
Domini Social Bond Fund Supports Community Development Financial Institutions (08/06)
The Domini Social Bond Fund allocates almost seven percent of its assets to CDFIs while also performing like a classic intermediate-term bond fund.
The Needmor Fund Utilizes a Muscular Definition of Fiduciary Responsibility (08/05)
Susan Stranahan, treasurer of the Needmor Fund, discusses socially responsible investing as a fiduciary duty and tier A money managers who have a social mission.
ACCION Creates Self-Sufficiency by Providing Microfinance to Microenterprises (07/24)
Social investors can support ACCION's international and national microlending initiatives, which seek to break the cycle of poverty through several mechanisms.
Foundation Begins to Reconcile Investments with Programs (07/22)
The Fetzer Institute uses screens and community investment to align a small portion of its assets with its social and environmental goals.
Philadelphia Innovates Solutions to Predatory Lending for Low- and Middle-Income Homeowners (07/17)
Two programs supported by the city of Philadelphia help low- and middle-income homeowners exposed to predatory lending when seeking loans to rehabilitate their houses.
Socially Responsible Investing in 529 Funds Requires Some Savvy (05/16)
There are now three SRI options for 529 college savings plans, though ascertaining how best to save for college in a socially responsible way may require professional advice.
Village Banking Supports Tomato-Selling in Tanzania (and Other Community Investing) (04/16)
FINCA provides microfinance to groups of villagers at market rates to create businesses that remain sustainable in the local economy long after loan repayment ends.
Rebuilding Iraq: Humanitarianism Versus Opportunism (04/04)
Socially responsible investing supports companies and nonprofit initiatives that advance humanitarian efforts to rebuild Iraq and avoids investment in profiteering companies.
Socially Responsible Investment Firms Respond to New War with Tried and True Tactics (03/28)
SRI firms are sticking with their traditional strategies, such as screening, community investment, and support for humanitarian aid, in response to war.
Credit Reporting Companies Obstruct Positive Credit History Reports (03/14)
Credit reporting companies readily accept negative credit reports, but require positive credit report submissions in batches of 100, preventing many microlenders from reporting.
Federal Credit Union and Nonprofits Go 50-50 on Loans to Low-Income Individuals (03/04)
Alternatives Federal Credit Union's Community Partnership Lending program doubles the amount of money nonprofits can loan to underserved communities.
Calvert Foundation Offers Community Investment in Self-Directed IRAs (02/13)
The Calvert Foundation has partnered with PENSCO Trust Company to offer Calvert Community Investment Notes for use in self-directed individual retirement accounts.
Green Banking (01/23)
Ten exemplary "green banking" enterprises were honored recently, highlighting the growth of environment-friendly community investing.
Top Five Social Investing News Stories of 2002 (01/14)
The major social investing news stories of the year include significant corporate governance reforms and the success of community investment.
Community Investment Pays: More Conversation with F.B. Heron's Luther Ragin (12/30)
Luther Ragin details F.B. Heron Foundation's returns on its community investments and urges other foundations and institutional investors to consider community investing (part two of a two-part article).
Helping People Help Themselves: A Conversation with F.B. Heron's Luther Ragin (12/27)
Luther Ragin explains why and how the F.B. Heron Foundation commits a whopping 18 percent of its total assets toward community investment projects (part one of a two-part article).
Freddie Mac's SHIP Sails Over the Stormy Seas of the Bear Market (11/27)
The Socially Responsible Housing Investment Program (SHIP) run by Freddie Mac earns positive returns while supporting low-income housing.
The Ethical Investment Group, Canada's Socially Responsible Investment Club (11/25)
Initially spurred by a popular trend in the 1990's, a Montreal-based investment club continues its commitment to socially responsible investment.
Tables Turning on Predatory Lending? (11/07)
The fight against predatory lending is being waged across the country by committed organizations that are utilizing capital from investors to create critical community impact. Meanwhile, major penalties are being handed down on predatory lenders.
Community Investing Pays (10/10)
New study refutes the myth that loans to low-income borrowers carry higher risk than loans to conventional borrowers.
Innovative Community Investment Fund Attracts Institutional Investors (10/02)
The CRA Qualified Investment Fund, originally established to help banks fulfill a federal mandate for community investment, now appeals to a broader range of institutional investors.
CDVCA's Double Bottom Line (09/13)
By investing capital in low-income communities, community development venture capital funds create jobs and foster economic development.
Cooperative Fund of New England Attracts Investment through Self-Directed IRAs (08/28)
Self-directed IRAs offer a win-win situation for nonprofits, which benefit from low-interest loans, and investors, who benefit from tax-friendly community investment.
SRI Income Funds Yield Competitive Dividends (08/22)
Often overlooked, SRI income funds allow social investors to diversify their portfolios.
NCCED Supports CDCs (08/13)
The National Congress for Community Economic Development is helping community development corporations operate more effectively and expand their services.
Conference to Consider the Business Case for SRI (07/29)
Institutional investors will discuss SRI at the Green Mountain SRI Summit, to be held in Stowe, Vermont in September.
New PRI Opportunity Garners Flexible Capital for Award-Winning Community Development Corporations (06/25)
Calvert Foundation has created a well-structured program related investment (PRI) opportunity that for the first time allows funders to buy-into a PRI Offering, combining strong credit quality and convenience with significant community impact.
Minnesota Bank Puts Community Investment Accounts on Equal Footing (06/19)
University Bank offers accounts that support projects in economically distressed communities and deliver the same interest rates as traditional accounts.
New Markets Tax Credit Rewards Community Investment (06/17)
Over the next seven years, the U.S. Treasury Department will allocate $15 billion in tax credits to investors who support qualifying community investments.
Community Development Credit Unions Introduce Affordable International Wiring Services (04/10)
Several Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) have started to provide services that allow working immigrants affordable ways to send funds "back home".
New Organization Demands Good Returns from Charitable Investments (02/21)
New intermediary organization will act as a clearinghouse for information on the financial and social strengths of charitable organizations for social investors.
One Percent Community Investing Campaign Gains Momentum (01/29)
MMA Praxis places 1 percent of its assets in community investments, indicating continued overall growth of community investing.
Calvert Foundation Launches Donor Advised Fund (10/22)
With a $5,000 minimum, the Calvert Giving Fund enables many investors to reap the multiple benefits of having a donor advised fund.
Strengthening Communities in Massachusetts and the Northeast (10/16)
Boston Community Capital offers investors opportunities to provide loans and equity for affordable housing, community infrastructure and business start-ups.
ShoreBank Surpasses $1 Billion in Community Development Investment (10/01)
Nation's oldest and largest community development bank passes milestone in serving distressed inner-city neighborhoods.
Building a Vibrant Arkansas (08/24)
Southern Development Bancorporation focuses on developing Arkansas' rural economies by investing in its people, businesses and real estate.
Community Investment As a Means of Competitive Advantage (08/10)
Ford Foundation report illustrates how companies are finding investment in rural and urban markets to be good business.
Vermont Benefits from Socially Responsible Banking Program (08/01)
Regional bank brings socially responsible banking and investing to the Green Mountain State.
LIHF Helps Families Out of Poverty (07/02)
The Low Income Housing Fund, one of the country's largest community development financial institutions, helps people gain stability and hope.
Budget Proposal Threatens Huge Cut in CDFI Fund (06/28)
House and Senate subcommittees will soon be looking at a Bush budget proposal that cuts CDFI Fund funding by nearly half.
Helping People on the Plains (06/15)
Regional community development organization in South Dakota provides a variety of needed resources and services to farmers, Native Americans and others.
Louisville Community Development Bank Focuses on Inner City Neighborhoods (05/08)
Unique bank helps turn pockets of despair into pockets of hope.
Mutual Fund Breaks New Ground in Community Investment (03/21)
The CRA Qualified Investment Mutual Fund now allows investors to direct their money to specific communities.
Shorebank Offers National Banking with Community Impact (05/24)
The oldest and largest community development bank in the U.S., Shorebank is uniquely positioned to be the bank of social investors.
Calvert Launches Linked Account for Social Impact (05/09)
A new product combines measurable social returns with the flexibility and liquidity of a money market account.