From soup kitchens to small businesses in the US and abroad, Brethren Benefit Trust’s member and client assets are making a positive impact on projects that serve low-income areas. In 2011, Brethren Pension Plan members and Brethren Foundation clients provided $735,776 in loans to projects that serve the needs of at-risk communities through BBT’s Community Development Investment Fund (CDIF).
“Our members and clients should celebrate the support they’re offering to qualified community development institutions around the world through the CDIF,” said BBT president Nevin Dulabaum. “This fund reflects the Brethren principle of mutuality, and those who place assets in this fund are helping low-income communities grow stronger and enriching people’s lives.”
BBT member and client assets invested in the CDIF are used to purchase Community Investment Notes at a fixed interest rate through Calvert Foundation. These notes are used to provide loans in the areas of community development, affordable housing, microcredit, and small business development.
In total, Calvert Foundation reported that BBT member and client assets helped build or rehabilitate 13 affordable housing units and financed three not-for-profit organizations, cooperatives, or social innovations in 2011. CDIF assets also funded 120 new enterprises and created 175 new jobs in 2011.
Through Calvert Foundation, the CDIF supports projects like Boston Community Capital, an organization that buys foreclosed properties and resells them to the original owners–often with reduced mortgages. A Calvert Foundation borrower provided $7 million of its tax credit allocation to support expansion of St. John’s Bread and Life, a Brooklyn soup kitchen and nutritional counseling center, so that it could serve a total of 450,000 meals annually. Internationally, investments in the CDIF help projects like KREDIT, a small loans provider that helps support entrepreneurs in Cambodia.
Pension Plan members and Brethren Foundation clients who are interested in investing in the CDIF are encouraged to allocate no more than one percent of their portfolio to this fund. For more information, Brethren Foundation clients should contact Steve Mason, director, at 800-746-1505 ext. 369, or at firstname.lastname@example.org . Brethren Pension Plan members should contact John Carroll, manager of Pension Operations, at 800-746-1505 ext. 383 or email@example.com
— Brian Solem is publications coordinator for Brethren Benefit Trust.