Faith-based institutions have, for centuries, considered social and environmental impacts of their financial decisions. At the core of this approach, is a mission that includes protecting and promoting the worth of every person, a belief that is found at the foundation of the social teaching principles of the Catholic Church and a broad range of other faiths. Increasingly, stakeholders – including staff, trustees, and donors, as well as those served by faith-based institutions such as parishioners, students, and patients – call for a holistic approach to embracing their faith. This includes the management of investments as an extension of mission and as a complement to other activities, such as philanthropy. This approach includes integrating mission and values into the financial objectives and investment guidelines of the faith-based institution in line with fiduciary responsibility.

Jonathan Swanson, Graystone Consulting

Further, high net worth individuals and families interested in aligning their faith with their investments generally seek to integrate guidelines specific to their interpretation of faith-based values into their financial objective. Faith-based investment guidelines vary by financial goals, including time horizon, liquidity needs, and by the mission and teachings of the faith the individual, family, or institution follows.

Faith-based investors are credited with inspiring investing for social and environmental impact, and serving as early advocates for encouraging companies to change their corporate practices, a process known as shareholder engagement.

Consistent with the Gospel, universal church teaching, the USCCB, and guidance from our local bishop, the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa offers a variety of moral and socially responsible investment options designed to meet a variety of philanthropic goals and time horizons, while adhering to Catholic values. We filter at a rate of 98+%.

The USCCB investment principles focus on the following areas:

  • protecting human life
  • promoting human dignity
  • reducing arms production
  • pursuing economic justice
  • protecting the environment
  • encouraging corporate responsibility

The above-mentioned focal areas allow our investments to avoid investing in the following focus areas:

  • abortion
  • contraceptives
  • embryonic stem cell/human cloning
  • racial and gender discrimination
  • pornography
  • production and sale of weapons
  • antipersonnel landmines
  • sweatshops

These listed parameters allow our investments to reflect what we support and believe as a universal Church. Investing with these parameters allow us to live our faith in another way. To learn more about socially responsible investing and the CFSWIA, visit our website!