RCIF Near to $5 Million Fund Goal
With an infusion of additional investments and verbal commitments from Members during June and July, RCIF has nearly achieved its current fund goal of $5 million. Reaching that critical mass will permit a broader range of investments, as RCIF will be considered an “accredited investor” and eligible to work through a number of major international loan funds which require the minimum Fund size. “Once we reach this goal,” said Executive Director Sr. Corinne Florek, “there are enormous opportunities for RCIF to have an impact in poor communities all over the world.”
Additional investments in June came from the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary ($50,000) and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael ($25,000). In July, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary added $50,000 to their investment. The Sisters of St. Francis of Redwood City have pledged an additional $300,000 investment. And, a donation in the amount of $50,000 has been verbally pledged by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. “We only have $183,000 left to go to reach our $5 million goal,” said Sr. Corinne, “and this is a testament to the continued commitment of religious women to community investing.”
Community Development Credit Unions the “Feet on the Street” for RCIF and Other Religious Investors
What do Mississippi, North Carolina and California have in common, aside from being on a coast? Credit unions. More specifically, they are home to three Community Development Credit Unions where RCIF has investments totalling $450,000 – the Self-Help Credit Union, the Latino Credit Union and Hope Credit Union.
In the keynote address to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU) on June 16, RCIF Executive Director Sr. Corinne Florek told representatives of credit unions from across the nation: “You are our feet on the street. We are aging, we don’t have as many Sisters, but we have some money. So we send our money on mission.”
Recalling the first investment of her order, the Adrian Dominicans, in NFCDCU, she explained that when she learned about credit unions while working toward her MBA in the 1970’s, she realized, “what a wonderful model they were for creating financial democracy, cooperation and justice.” Sr. Corinne accepted a proclamation from Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal, honoring women religious for decades of support for credit unions.
Credit unions offer more than just banking and loans to people and communities excluded from conventional financial service institutions. They measure their success not only in dollars made available in the community, but in social impact – homes preserved and created through foreclosure mitigation and programs for first home buyers; small businesses built that bring new jobs into the community; affordable housing projects supported by bridge loans; financial services for non-profits and businesses that want to re-invest in their communities. (To read more about the successes of the three credit unions RCIF invests in, visit their websites: http://www.self-help.org/about-us/publications/annual-reports for the Self-Help Credit Union ; http://www.hopecu.org/index.php/news/impact-reports for Hope Credit Union; http://www.latinoccu.org/en for the Latino Credit Union.
Inviting RCIF Members and other religious women investors to join her at the podium at the conference, Sr. Corinne stressed the deep similarities between religious women and credit unions. “You’re about people and values and mission, just like we sisters are. You, like we sisters, are one of the few real democratic institutions in this country,” she said. “You teach others to be motivated by the common good.”
To watch the video of Sr. Corinne’s keynote remarks, click on this link: http://vimeo.com/27207091 (if you don’t have high speed cable, turn off the HD feature).
Visit With RCIF at the LCWR Assembly
Look for the RCIF Booth in the Exhibitors Area of the LCWR Assembly, which will be held August 9-13 in Garden Grove, California. RCIF hopes to attract interest from potential Members and Sponsors by providing information on the transformative work of community investing. If you are attending the conference, make sure to stop by to visit with Sr. Corinne and have a piece of chocolate while you are there!