Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is Your Funding Socially Responsible?

Today's breed of donors are becoming attuned to the value of social investing. More and more of them are putting their hard-earned money into investment vehicles that support causes they care about or attempting to dictate how their donations are used.

In her book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Giving Back," Elizabeth Ziemba, J.D., M.P.H. offered detailed information for people considering getting involved in socially responsible investments (SRIs). Nonprofits always want to know what is on the mind of their supporters, and Ziemba's book sheds a light on that information.

She offered the following tips for donors who are considering socially responsible funding:

  • Identify your financial needs. How much can you afford to invest? How much can you risk losing?
  • Identify and prioritize your social values. Think about what is most important to you in terms of causes and values. Knowing where you will and will not compromise is helpful in the investment selection process.
  • Understand and examine social screens. Understand the negative and positive social screens that financial management companies use to review corporate report cards on social issues. Request prospectuses from a few possible investment candidates and compare them.
  • Make your selection. After you have completed your self-assessment and an assessment of various socially responsible funds, choose the fund that most closely matches your financial and social goals.

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