Faith-Based Impact Investing: How to Incorporate Religious Values into Your Portfolio

September 2017 | Impact Investing

“Impact investors are those who are conscious of the existence of serious unjust situations, instances of profound social inequality and unacceptable conditions of poverty affecting communities and entire peoples.”
– Pope Francis, “Investing for the Poor” Vatican Symposium on Impact Investing (2014)

Religion and finance are two topics that rarely intertwine in the minds of most investors. They may attend religious services each week and make charitable donations, but then also adjust their portfolios and watch the stock market at other times and for unrelated reasons. With faith-based impact investing, however, investors no longer have to feel like they are living double lives—it is possible to combine your religious values into your investment portfolio and still have the potential to see promising returns.

Align Your Investments with Your Values

2017.09-Religion.jpgEach of the world’s religions—whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu—preaches certain basic values that are cornerstones of the religion. When you engage in impact investing, you can seek to place your capital in businesses, projects, or funds that focus on providing solutions to social or environmental problems that are also in-line with your beliefs.

Some religious investors engage in socially responsible investing (SRI) which typically utilizes negative screening; portfolio managers are able to avoid investing in companies that may go against their beliefs in some way. Impact investing, which can be considered SRI, takes the more optimistic and proactive approach. Rather than saying “I don’t want put money into companies that support gambling,” an investor would say “I want to help support affordable housing initiatives in my state.” Faith-based impact investing is about investing in your values to empower positive results.

At Community Capital Management (CCM), we work with religious clients to customize a portfolio of market-rate, fixed income securities that directly benefit their values. We can assist you in customizing your investments to support specific geographies and/or social initiatives. Thematic targeting can include:

  • Affordable Health/Rehab Care
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Enterprise Development/Jobs
  • Affordable Housing
  • Education/Childcare
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Arts & Culture
  • Human Empowerment
  • Rural Community Development
  • Gender Lens
  • Minority Neighborhoods
  • Seniors/Disabled
  • Government Supported Communities
  • Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Healthy Communities
  • Transit-Oriented Development


Case Study: How Religious Impact Investing Can Help

Client: Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Target: Geographic

  • Solabella Apartments is an affordable rental property in Miami Gardens, FL in a Difficult Development Area and a minority census tract.
  • Solabella Apartments is a Low Income Housing Tax Credit Property where 100% of the 92 units are restricted to residents with incomes at or below 60% of area median income.
  • The property offers energy conservation features including dual-flush toilets, energy star appliances, programmable thermostats, and green label certified carpets and rugs.
  • The property includes a variety of self-sufficiency programs, including: welfare-to-work, first-time homebuyer seminars, literacy training, health care, and financial counseling.

Founded in 1998, CCM is a pioneer in managing fixed income impact investing and fossil fuel free portfolios. We incorporate the “environmental” and “social” aspects of ESG investing into our investment philosophy by proactively seeking market-rate bonds that positively contribute to community development. CCM has $2.4 billion in assets and has invested nearly $8 billion in impact initiatives nationwide on behalf of clients.

We work with many faith-based investors and look forward to assisting you in selecting investments that match your values and have the potential to generate significant returns.



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