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ABOUT RSF Social Finance
RSF Social Finance is a financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. RSF offers investing, lending, and giving services that generate positive social and environmental impact while fostering community and collaboration among participants. Our growing community of clients is furthering the work of social entrepreneurs in the fields of Food Agriculture, Education the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship. Building the field of social finance through community-based economic practices and a productive ecosystem of social finance partners is part of our work toward a human centered culture of finance. Since 1984, RSF has made over $275 million in loans and over $100 million in grants to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises.
Impact Investing for All; From Fragile to Resilient
From Fragile to Resilient: Libor to RSF Prime
Let’s recognize the historic opportunity we have to change the current culture of money!
We know, for example, that big banks like Barclays pushed the adoption of Libor over another benchmark—a comparatively simple cost-of-funds index that many observers now say was better for borrowers and much less volatile. The switch was made for one reason: to increase short-term profits for the banks. The foundation of trust in Wall Street has been completely undermined as a result of this and other recent scandals.
As the first wave of the financial crisis unfolded in 2008, we became increasingly uncomfortable with this approach. We realized that pricing to meet the needs of our stakeholders could most productively be determined by the community of stakeholders itself. So we began hosting face-to-face meetings at our offices in San Francisco with representatives of the three stakeholder groups of our RSF Social Investment Fund: investors, borrowers and RSF staff. In October 2009, we adopted a customized interest rate collaboratively recommended by these stakeholders each quarter. We dubbed this new base rate for borrowers “RSF Prime”. Visit our blog for more.
Impact Investing for All
In June of this year, Mark Finser, RSF Board Chair, had a lively conversation with Chris Mann, Guayaki CEO, and Matt Reynolds, Indigenous Designs President. Matt and Chris were energized about the RSF pricing meeting in which they had just participated and were enthused by the community spirit. They started asking several questions including: How can RSF borrowers better acknowledge their relationship with RSF? In what ways can the borrowers cross-promote their brands and support one another? How can the borrowers leverage their communities to raise more awareness about RSF and the Social Investment Fund, which allows individuals to make a return on their investment while providing loan funds to phenomenal social enterprises? Read more.
New RSF Loan Helps Digital Divide Data Deliver IT Services with Social Impact
RSF Social Finance is pleased to announce a new loan to Digital Divide Data (DDD), a social enterprise with a mission to provide steady, meaningful work to nearly 1,000 young people in Laos, Cambodia, and Kenya. DDD was founded in 2001 with the idea that the world’s poorest citizens can produce their own solutions to poverty in the new global economy if they have access to the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that power economic growth and lasting change around the world. RSF’s line of credit to Digital Divide will be used to manage cash flow, in particular its payroll obligations which don’t always match up with payments from clients.
With a twist on the business model of many firms in India and the Philippines, DDD employs high school graduates in countries like Cambodia, Laos and Kenya to provide Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services to clients. Read more.
Holiday Shopping and Discounts
Intention is paramount in our work to transform the way the world works with money. This applies not only to investing and lending, but also to individual purchasing power.
Every dollar you spend or gift can have a tremendous impact. This holiday season you can support businesses making deep social and environmental impact. At RSF, we support 80 social enterprises – we encourage you to consider any one of them when making your holiday shopping list.
Click here to see a full list of our borrowers and a selection of holiday discounts.
stone circles, Seed Fund Grantee
What does it mean to live sustainably, particularly in regards to stewardship of land? 2012 RSF Seed Fund Grantee stone circles has made this question central to its work. stone circles, located in the small town of Mebane, NC, has a mission to strengthen and sustain people committed to transformation and justice, and its mission comes alive through spiritual practice and principles, a sustainable relationship with the land, radical hospitality, and strategic collaboration.
stone circles was founded in 1995 and has continually been at the forefront of the national movement to transform social change work by creating strong and explicit links between individual and social transformation. It does so by working at the local, statewide, and national level and provides trainings, workshops and retreats that offer transformative experiences that link commitment to sustainability and practice with frameworks for strategic action. Full story.
December 3- 5, Strengthening Agriculture's Infrastructure, Portland, OR
December 6, Bay Area Green Business Academy, Oakland, CA
December 7, Captain Planet Foundation Gala, Atlanta, GA
December 12, RSF Community Reception at Numi Tea Garden, Oakland, CA
January 22 - 24, Confluence Annual Practicioners Meeting, Harlem, NYC
January 31 - February 3, play BIG, Sausalito, CA