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Faith-Based Investing

We seek to fulfill our stewardship responsibilities by ensuring that the resources we manage reflect our faith and God’s desires for our lives and our world. In this pursuit, we have the dual responsibility to work for the benefit of the poor and oppressed while providing for the economic needs of our families, churches, and mission/ministry organizations, so that all can enjoy the benefits of God’s gifts.

Faith-based investing uses the three pillars of socially responsible investing – screening, shareholder advocacy, and positive investment – to express faithful stewardship of investment resources.

SCREENING

Screening means selecting investments that meet criteria based on our faith values. Positive screens seek out companies for investment based on selected business practices. Negative screens exclude particular companies or industries from investment.

The Foundation employs both positive and negative screens. We avoid investments in companies involved in tobacco, alcohol, and gambling, along with for-profit prisons, and some companies related to weapons production. In addition, at times a company involved in serious human rights violations may also be screened. The Foundation-sponsored New Covenant Funds use positive screens actively seeking out companies with good ESG practices. Find out more 

SHAREHOLDER ADVOCACY

Shareholder advocacy combines our voices as investors to leverage a call for socially responsible corporate policies and practices. Through dialogue and meetings with company management, the Foundation as a shareholder directly encourages more responsible levels of corporate citizenship. We may also file shareholder proposals, to be voted on at that company’s annual shareholder meeting. And we actively vote our proxies on ballots in advance of company annual meetings.

TRANSFORMATIONAL INVESTING

Transformational investing offers a positive and creative approach to a challenging situation. Beyond a simple monetary return, the outcome being sought is transformation – hope in place of fear, peace in place of violence, empowerment in place of injustice, changed lives, changed circumstances. The General Assembly has designated a percentage of the unrestricted endowments from which it benefits to be invested in such ventures. These currently include:

  • Oikocredit, a church-based organization making loans globally to economic development projects benefiting the poorest people in their societies. 
  • Opportunity Finance Network, providing financial capital for economic development in communities that are often overlooked or excluded by traditional financial structures. 
  • A series of investments in Israel-Palestine, as part of an effort to create conditions for peace in the region. These include microfinance, education, renewable energy, tourism, and life sciences projects.
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