Choosing trustworthy professional guidance to steward resources, from small savings accounts to large endowment assets, can be a heavy responsibility, especially when socially responsible investing is a top priority. UCC Congregations can turn to two extraordinary UCC Financial Ministries that can help.
Borrowing and investing join hands in the UCC Cornerstone Fund. Working much like a bank, the UCC Cornerstone Fund offers interest-bearing investments (Flexible Demand and Term Notes) to United Church of Christ churches and individual members – and that principal is used in turn to fund loans to other churches and organizations throughout the denomination. By participating in the Cornerstone Fund, investors enjoy a competitive rate of return, while ensuring funds are always available to churches seeking to make capital improvements. Perfect for short- and longer-term investments.
Contact the Cornerstone Fund at (888) 822-3863.
Established in 1909, United Church Funds (UCF) offers a family of professionally managed, well-diversified and socially responsible investment funds. At present, UCF manages over half a billion dollars in assets — from small church reserve accounts to some of the denomination’s historic endowments. Investors in UCF’s funds benefit from a range of advantages, including —
• Nine funds offering broad diversification to minimize risk
• Lower fees for active management by top managers using a range of styles
• A socially responsible portfolio and active shareholder engagement
• Continuous evaluation of manager performance to strengthen returns
• A not-for-profit structure that reduces costs
Socially Responsible Investing:
As Christians, we seek to fulfill our stewardship responsibilities by ensuring that the investment of resources we manage reflects our faith values and God’s desires for our world. Given the powerful role money plays in our society and world, we want to be thoughtful in choosing investments that work for good.
The Cornerstone Fund, by investing in the future of UCC churches, offers an investment that “does good – and does well!”
United Church Funds’ Socially Responsible Investing commitment offers investors the unique opportunity to align their values with their desire to maximize endowment and other assets, believing solid returns can coexist with socially responsible investing.
UCF uses a range of strategies, such as proxy voting, shareholder resolutions and social screens to bring about this desirable balance. Please visit our SRI site for a more detailed account of our program.
For more information about UCF’s social responsibility ministry, download the educational articles, Corporate Social Responsibility, UCF Statement of Investment Policy and the UCF Social Issues Proxy Voting Guidelines. For a look into the sustainability of United Church Funds as reported by the SR office, download the first edition of the Sustainability Report.
Clergy and laity employed by the UCC and enrolled in The Pension Boards-UCC program can rest assured that their retirement funds are invested in concert with their faith and the Pension Boards fiduciary responsibility. Beyond the employer contributions, many UCC employees invest their own funds in Tax Sheltered Annuities, a smart and simple way to invest responsibility. Learn more about The Pension Boards Corporate Social Responsibility ministry (including a CSR slide show for churches).
The United Church of Christ Covenanted Ministries, United Church Funds, and the Pension Boards all partner in the Corporate Social Responsibility work of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, representing more than $100 billion in invested assets.
RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP THROUGH SHAREHOLDER ENGAGMENT!
Vol 1: Reconsidering the Endowment Spending Policy
The first in United Church Funds’ Investor Education Series, this article highlights the concept of a spending policy based on Total Return – the contemporary and successor spending model to the outdated “save the principal, spend the income.” A chart demonstrates the viability of a spending policy based on Total Return.
Vol 2: Making a Plan: Building a Sound Investment Policy
This article highlights five essential steps in the development of a well-considered investment policy – an essential document endowments of any size.
Vol 3: Corporate Social Responsibility
This article features the social responsibility program of United Church Funds, which goes far beyond simple investment screens.
Vol 5: Alternatives
Alternatives: the what, the when, the why. Should your church consider adding alternatives to your endowment’s investment portfolio? Or do alternatives fall outside your policy guidelines? This article offers an overview of alternative investments including hedge funds, real estate and private equity.