Why an Investment Portfolio?

An investment portfolio enables the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia to extend our Franciscan spirit and further our mission as we help improve the social and economic well-being of financially at-risk communities. Through this portfolio we are able to effect systemic change to promote justice, human dignity, sustainability, as well as advocate for the preservation and protection of the environment for present and future generations. In addition, our investments enable us to exert influence on corporations through shareholder advocacy.

Our investments allow us to participate in the work of such organizations as Jubilee Housing, a faith-based non-profit organization providing affordable housing and supportive services to economically disadvantaged residents of the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. Finding and/or keeping housing is particularly difficult for those with limited income in gentrifying urban areas. Jubilee Housing exists as an alternative to current trends and market forces. Neighborhoods and communities can preserve affordable options for all of their residents. Affordable housing and supportive community can be sustained even in the most stressed housing markets. Through its expansive network Jubilee offers job training, job placement, health care, programs for children, daycare, programs for the elderly, assistance in parenting, literacy training, and transitional housing and programs for homeless adults. These services assist residents in building toward self-reliance instead of dependency and builds a sense of community.

What is an Investment Portfolio?

An investment portfolio is an aggregate of investments such as stocks and bonds. In 1971 our General Council approved the engagement of an investment administrator; in 1974 the investment portfolio was established. Until this time, monies were invested in savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

In 1980, the Committee for Responsible Investment (CRI) was established to assist our congregation in fulfilling its social responsibility for its financial resources. It is the responsibility of the committee and staff to monitor the investment portfolio for consistency with our mission, engage in shareholder advocacy, increase membership awareness on issues of social responsibility, communicate with investment managers and advisors, and process community development investments.

The Director of Corporate Social Responsibility is accountable to the Corporation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and maintains ongoing communication with the Congregational Treasurer, and the Financial Advisory Board.

Using our investments and working with other mission-driven organizations such as The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Philadelphia Area Coalition for Responsible Investment (PACRI), Partners for the Common Good, the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN), and a variety of community development organizations we believe that we are able to bring about systemic change and promote justice, human dignity, and sustainability.