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In January 2003 the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees passed a policy formally requiring that a portion of UUA funds be invested in Community Investing (CI) Assets, generally recognized as investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The board further created the Community Development Matching Program as an incentive to encourage congregations and districts to adopt a similar policy of Community Investing. Through this program the UUA will match church and district CI investments which meet certain criteria. The criteria for the match have been developed by the UUA Committee on Socially Responsible Investing (CSRI) in collaboration with the Treasurer and Financial Advisor. Below are the latest eligibility requirements and application procedures.
Community Investing (CI) is financing that creates resources and opportunities for economically disadvantaged people and communities underserved by traditional financial institutions. CI supports development initiatives in low-income communities both in the United States and in developing countries. CI financing creates access to affordable financial services and financial education, loans for first-time homebuyers and affordable housing development, micro and small business development, community services, and venture capital financing.
Community Investments are offered by community investing institutions and include checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, loan notes, equity investments in community development, and money-market funds.
Community Investing Institutions include community development banks, credit unions, loan funds (including microenterprise lenders), venture capital funds, and other institutions which offer investment products that support community development, e.g., Calvert Foundation Notes. See section below for Community Investing database requirement.
The applicant church or district must make a minimum investment of $2,000 for at least one year in an approved Community Investing Institution. The UUA will make a duplicate investment as the applicant up to $10,000 and for a maximum term of three years. The UUA interest rate may be different from the applicant's interest rate.
After researching the best data sets and resources within the Community Investing industry, the CSRI has approved the use of the Community Investment Database as the reference source for eligible investments. This is a searchable database of more than 450 CDFIs. All of the institutions included have met minimum thresholds established by the industry's key associations relating to operating performance, equity ratios, delinquencies and losses. The directory includes a screened selection of U.S.-based CDFIs from the two trade associations formerly used as the matching criteria, as well as international microenterprise funds. See the Community Investment Database.
For more information contact responsibleinvesting @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
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Last updated on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
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