Socially Responsible Investing
"Doing well while doing good"
“The United Methodist Church believes God's love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers.” from The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2016.
The Methodist Church has always been a denomination with a social conscience. From the time of John Wesley, followers have focused not only on strengthening their faith, but in carrying out that faith in practice, in daily actions and with a focus on social justice.
The Foundation understands that the management of assets given to a church or agency carries with it a burden of responsibility. Not only must these assets must be managed sensibly, with respect for the wishes of the donor, but also, if invested, with an eye to the potential impact these assets might have on the financial future of the institution and the society in which it operates. For Churches, the Book of Discipline ¶2532.5 provides that, "The board of trustees is encouraged to invest in institutions, companies, corporations, or funds that make a positive contribution toward the realization of the goals outlined in the Social Principles of our Church."
Investors have come to realize that they need not sacrifice their convictions to ensure a strong financial return. The Forbes Finance Council reminds investors that “those who provide the solutions to today’s problems will be the financial winners of tomorrow”. There is no reason why principles and profit must be pursued separately and investing for impact has been shown to actually decrease portfolio volatility when compared to non-impact investing.
Socially responsible investing has the potential to impact global and domestic policy, change standards for environmental conservation, protect under-served populations, and make the world a more peaceful place. With this in mind, the United Methodist Foundation makes a conscious effort to invest in companies, corporations and/or funds whose practices are consistent with the goals outlined in the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church and requires its investment managers to uphold this commitment. This includes, but is not limited to, investing in companies that respect human rights, play a role in local communities, produce useful products in an environmentally sound way and seek workforce diversity. It also means avoiding investment in companies engaged in gambling or in the manufacture of weapons systems, alcohol, or tobacco products. The Foundation balances this duty to social responsibility against its duty to create measurable portfolio impact for our account holders in order to ensure that you truly can do well by doing good.
To learn more about socially responsible investing, contact us.