Socially responsible investing
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) dares to believe that prudent management of invested funds not only provides a source for funding mission but also a vehicle for doing mission.
At ABHMS, the prophetic commitment to confront systems that debase personhood, deny justice and destroy creation is not only reflected in ministry programming but also in the way stewardship of funds is exercised through socially responsible investing (SRI).
The Common Investment Fund (CIF)—where ABHMS assets are held and managed—is an actively managed fund that engages in a full range of SRI activities. These include the following: 1) use of screens that exclude investments in companies primarily engaged in products and activities such as tobacco, liquor, gambling, pornography and militarism; 2) voting proxies that impact policies and practices of companies held in the portfolio; and 3) engaging in shareholder activity that includes letter writing, formal and informal dialog with company management and, when appropriate, filing shareholder resolutions, all with the goal of persuading companies that doing well financially does not have to come at the expense of doing good—socially, ethically or environmentally.
In partnership with other faith-based organizations through membership in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), ABHMS speaks for shaping a global community built on justice and sustainability through transformation of the corporate world. ABHMS believes—along with ICCR, which it helped to establish in 1971—that a cross-sector, integrated approach focused on impacting policy at Fortune 500 companies can address systemic practices related to environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights and diversity issues.
Established in 1962, ABHMS’ CIF was expanded in 1975 to allow participation of American Baptist churches and related institutions. Contact the ABHMS treasurer’s office at 800.222.3872, x2385, for information about investing in this fund with its consistently excellent returns.
- ABHMS’ “Revised Guidelines Relating to Social Criteria for Investments” (PDF)
- ICCR’s “2017 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide” (PDF)
- Podcast: ABHMS Treasurer and CFO Michaele Birdsall explains the principles of socially responsible investing
- Failed/Ineligible Investments List: The companies in this list have been rejected for investment because they failed at least one screen by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church. Please note that it is not an exhaustive list of all companies that could be considered ineligible for investment. MSCI EAFE (DOCX) Wilshire 5000 (DOCX)