April 4, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Do you have a small amount of money that you would like to invest in keeping with your social values and sense of justice? Do you simply want to understand the concept of “socially responsible investing”?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) might be offering just what you’re seeking. In a recently posted YouTube presentation directed to small individual investors (“indies”), the PAB offers tips on such steps as setting up investment filters, taking into account such factors as which types of investments you would like to avoid and which you would like to support, as well as information on how you, the small investor, can influence the behavior of corporations. The presentation also includes links to resources that can provide deeper information in such areas as the use of mutual funds, issues that are frequently involved in the considerations of socially responsible investors, and how institutions are handling their investments.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters have been at the forefront of socially responsible investing, having established the PAB more than 40 years ago. The PAB guides the Congregation in two areas: through work as shareholders to persuade corporations to operate in a socially responsible manner, and through low-interest loans to community organizations that promote the common good of people in need throughout the world.
Socially responsible investing has been an integral component of justice and peace work. The Adrian Dominican Sisters and about 300 organizations – members of the Interfaith Coalition on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) – strive to bring about a more sustainable and just world through their work with multinational corporations.
Adrian Dominican Associate Dee Joyner chairs and Lura Mack directs the PAB, comprised of Sisters, Associates, and lay partners who serve on two committees: Corporate Responsibility and Community Investments. More information about the PAB can be found in the 40th anniversary publication, Adrian Dominican Sisters Portfolio Advisory Board: Celebrating 40 Years of Socially Responsible Investing.
December 10, 2015. Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) is pleased to announce three new loan investments this quarter, recommended by the Community Investment Committee and approved by the Congregation’s General Council.
The PAB has granted a loan to the Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF) to help capitalize the fund, which is invested in projects that provide housing and other opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the United States. Based in Albertson, New York, the DOF loans money to real estate developers, communities, and organizations serving the disabilities market, and to any group that helps to create access to housing, schools, or other projects for people with disabilities. Founded by veteran finance professionals, the DOF provides capital and advisory services to its clients.
The PAB’s latest loan to First Nations Oweesta Corporation will enable the Longmont, Colorado-based organization to invest in Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Oweesta is the only Native CDFI intermediary, offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. Oweesta works with indigenous peoples living in some of the most rural locations in the United States, including American Indian Reservations, traditional Native lands, Hawaiian homelands and Alaska Native villages.
“Specifically, Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy, helping Native communities to develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and financial products,” according to the organization’s website.
PeopleFund, based in Austin, Texas, creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and resources to build healthy small businesses. The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ loan, along with investments from other funders, will be used as lending capital across Texas to support underserved small business startups and nonprofits, specifically those run by women, veterans, minorities, and low-income populations.
“Our goal is to give people the opportunity to turn their talents into a sustainable livelihood and achieve financial stability for themselves and their families,” according to PeopleFund’s website. “We inspire, educate, fund, and elevate clients on the path to prosperity and the American Dream.” PeopleFund offers financial products, business education, and tailored, one-on-one mentoring to entrepreneurs normally left out of the financial mainstream.
Community investments is one aspect of the work of the PAB. The Board, now in its 40th year, also engages in corporate responsibility work. The PAB monitors the Congregation’s investments and, through such means as shareholder resolutions, holds the corporations accountable in such areas as social justice, environmental sustainability, and fair labor practices.