By Mary’s Pence donor and volunteer Julie Jones
Earlier this year, I responded to a request in the Mary’s Pence newsletter asking for volunteers to serve on the Ad Hoc Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. While I had little experience in this area, I have a great interest in using money to support values and people, which is always why I contribute to Mary’s Pence. The group was charged by the Board to review the current investments and make recommendations about future directions. Our small group has learned a lot during our time together and established criteria for future investments, ensuring donors’ investment in Mary’s Pence both those held in responsible reserve and those given to grantees are aligned with the values the organization holds.
I always knew that there were mutual funds that invested for socially responsible causes, such as not investing in weapons or fossil fuel or positively investing in sustainable energy. What was a new learning is that cash savings can also be put into banks that are focused on investing in women-owned or African-American owned businesses, in communities whose residents are predominately people of color, poverty, in the needs of indigenous communities. By putting money into savings in these banks or investment units, one can both make modest interest and also support causes with which Mary’s Pence founders and grantees stands in solidarity.
Can you help us identify banks or organizations that allow investors to earn some interest or dividends while saving money with them? Please contact us if you have suggestions.
Julie serves as vice president of mission and formation at Mercy Health in St. Louis, Missouri. Both personally and professionally, she helps others find meaning, values congruence, and purpose in their work and lives. Mary’s Pence is an extension of what she enjoys doing. She first became aware of Mary’s Pence many years ago when she was studying theology and was drawn to women funding women. She increased her giving over the years as she saw women grantees finding confidence and using skills to improve their lives, their families, and their communities. As a donor, she has been impressed with how Mary’s Pence listens to grantees and develops resources beyond financial support to ensure deeper healing and community.