According to a new study from the Social Investment Forum (SIF), “community investing” is now the fastest-growing category of socially responsible investing in the United States. The Forum reported that individual and institutional assets flowing into community investing organizations grew by a hefty 41 percent between 1999 and 2001, increasing from $5.4 billion to $7.6 billion.
Community investing is financing that generates resources and opportunities for economically disadvantaged people in communities that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Community investing, carried out by hundreds of community development banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital organizations across the United States, helps create affordable housing and jobs, provide financial services to low-income individuals, supply capital for small businesses, and make possible such vital community services as childcare. Interested investors can find more information in the 2002 Consumers’ Guide to Community Investing, published by the SIF as part of its 1 Percent in Community Investing Campaign. Currently, U.S. assets in community investing total $7.6 billion; the SIF is working to increase that number to $15 billion by 2005.
For a comprehensive list of community investing alternatives visit the Community Investing Center.