The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been active in Community Development since 1985 when our first loan was given to the Delaware Valley Community Reinvestment Fund. Since then, we have been active locally, regionally, and internationally. Our Community Development loans, similar to today’s “Impact Investing,” provide an opportunity for us to lend capital to community-based organizations that service those who have difficulty obtaining access to capital. Credit unions, community banks, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) loan funds, microfinance lenders, nonprofit housing developers, and other community-established businesses help to identify jobs, housing needs, and a host of other services and entrepreneurial opportunities. We seek investments where social and environmental outcomes drive economic returns. In this sense, our investments have a “triple-bottom line” return–they benefit people and the planet while generating profit and enabling us to live out our most deeply held values.
Through these types of investment we are able to partner with organizations such as the Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF). http://thedof.org/about-us/the-inspiration/ The DOF is the first national community development financial institution (CDFI) specifically created for persons with disabilities while also providing financial and technical assistance to families and communities serving the disabled. http://thedof.org/