13

May

2020

Introducing the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative

 

This week we are delighted to profile the work of the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC). In this blog, Maggie Stohler, CIIC Program Manager, introduces the network and shares their latest milestones.

Operation Noah is excited to be working with CIIC in encouraging Catholic institutions to align their values with their investments, and hope that all Churches will be inspired by this groundbreaking work.

In his 2015 encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis called on the global community to live out a commitment in response to the ‘cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’. Recent global crises like the Amazon fires and our current Covid-19 pandemic have further demonstrated that there is an urgent need for action around environmental and social justice issues.

Catholic institutions have been at the forefront of tackling social impact work for centuries, but creating impact through investments has only recently reached the mainstream Catholic investor community. The leader of this growing movement of Catholic impact investors is the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC), an international coalition of more than 40 Catholic organisations that are pursuing positive social impact.

CIIC was established in November 2014 as an informal ‘neutral space’ for people to come together, share a meal and stories, and build relationships based on their spiritual as well as financial commitment to impact investing. What started out as a small group of interested individuals has now grown into a community of stakeholders, investors, and religious groups who are catalysing new resources to empower those in need and taking action to create a more just and sustainable world. The mission of CIIC is to support Catholic institutions by creating a community to share resources, connections and learnings around Catholic impact investing.

CIIC formalised its efforts in October 2019 by rolling out the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge. This aims to galvanise the Catholic investment community to commit to meaningful and accountable steps to incorporate impact investment into their portfolios, in alignment with Catholic Social Teaching and the urgent need for action on environment and social justice.

In signing the pledge, partners commit to seeking creative, impactful investment opportunities that simultaneously provide financial returns while creating measurable, positive, social and environmental outcomes in service of people and planet. An additional commitment of CIIC pledge partners is to help grow the community of Catholic impact investors through sharing case studies and best practices, thus accelerating the adoption of impact into faith-based investing.

We recently shared an exciting update that the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge has gained 21 signatories from four countries, with a combined $40 billion in assets under management, including notable groups such as Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota, and many others. This group has committed not only to maintaining their focus on internal impact investment programmes but is also interested in helping to grow the broader ecosystem of Catholic impact investing.

One of the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge signatories, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota

One of our first European signatories is the UK-based Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, a religious congregation and charity. In signing the pledge, Shaun Cooper, Head of Finance and Business Administration at FMDM, noted: ‘The leadership team is passionate about impact investing, and so making CIIC’s Catholic Impact Investing Pledge seemed the natural thing to do. We are excited to both further expand our impact investing portfolio, and promote its benefits to others.’

Learn more about the pledge principles and commitment

CIIC is honoured to support the growing momentum for impact investing among Catholic organisations. If your organisation is interested in learning more about the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge or becoming a signatory, please visit our website: www.catholicimpact.org or get in touch with Program Manager Maggie Stohler at maggie@catholicimpact.org.

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