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, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, have further demonstrated that there is an urgent need for action around environmental and social justice issues. Catholic institutions have adopted many approaches to address environmental injustice, including shareholder engagement, divestment of fossil fuels and negative screening of companies generating pollution. However, we believe that in order to increase our positive impact in the world, our investments must express our Catholic values and provide financial returns, while simultaneously creating measurable and positive social and environmental outcomes.
Our mission at the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC) is to galvanize the Catholic investment community to commit to take meaningful and accountable steps to incorporate impact investment into their portfolios in alignment with Catholic Social Teachings. CIIC was established in November 2014 in the U.S. Midwest as an informal “neutral space” for Catholic investors to share a meal and build relationships. What started out as a small group of interested individuals has now grown into a community of stakeholders, investors, and religious groups, who are catalyzing new resources to empower those in need, and taking action to create a more just and sustainable world. Today, we serve a global community of Catholic institutions by sharing impact stories and investment best practices, and recently created the Catholic Impact Investing Pledge whereby 29 institutions have already committed to allocate more assets to their impact investment portfolio. We will soon be launching a membership program for those who want to step up their impact investing efforts.
Seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit is central to our identity. We focus on cultivating the deep level of trust that comes from breaking bread, sharing stories, building relationships and fostering collaboration with other Catholics. Our vision is to foster a world where capital is a transformative force for good, stewards the environment and enhances both equality and human dignity. We recognize the science of climate change, and understand that there is an urgent moral, financial and ethical imperative to save our planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants. By sharing our experiences and celebrating our Catholic faith and values, we believe our community of investors will demonstrate the potential of impact investing to expand the stewardship of financial resources in service to people and planet.
The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are part of the CIIC community of 31 pledge partners. The community includes a global group of pioneering Catholic institutions who have led the way on impact investing, representing 6 countries and over $40B in assets. This group has committed not only to maintain their focus on internal impact investment programs but is also helping to grow the broader ecosystem of Catholic impact investing.
Maggie StohlerProgram Manager, Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC)
Maggie Stohler is a Program Manager at Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC). She previously worked for Impact Engine, an impact investing venture capital fund in Chicago, and Higher Ground Labs, an accelerator program for progressive political tech companies. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Delaware.