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On the Money: Investing with Purpose

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There’s no better time than the present to learn how to put your money where your heart is by investing in a nonprofit.

By Jenny Hoff, Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

You don’t have to be a multimillionaire to invest in social good. In fact, many investors today—even those contributing less than a hundred dollars a month to an investment—are becoming pickier about the companies they support. Luckily, there are several apps and funds that make it easy for you to choose to invest in companies that support your values and are still profitable.

Ellevest is a great platform that provides financial advice and helps you invest in companies that are run by women, are contributing to social causes you care about and are lower risk so you can feel better about getting a return on your investment. With no minimum investment amount, it’s easy to get started. Ellevest also offers career and financial coaching to members. So if you’re not sure how to get started with investing, you can get help from a female financial expert.

Support, Your Cause, Invest in a Nonprofit

If you care about a specific cause, there is likely a fund that supports companies promoting that cause or aiming to solve the problem. Through Reinvestment Fund, you can help restore impoverished communities in the United States; Domini Impact Investments provides funds that include companies positively impacting the world and environment; and Farmland LP is a fund that buys conventional farmland and transforms it into an organic, sustainable growth model. These aren’t charities. They are funds that will likely allow you to make money from your investment while still promoting a social good.

Perhaps you’re already investing in a mutual fund or 401(k) and you want to know more about the companies you own stock in. Look no further than the website As You Sow, which categorizes funds based on important causes, such as gender-equality funds, deforestation-free funds, weapons-free funds and fossil fuel-free funds. You can search for a fund you invest in or a company you’re curious about to see if it’s one you want to support.
Also you can look for an independent financial advisor who can help you achieve your goal of social-impact investing. You may have to do some research and interview several before you find someone you can trust to put together a portfolio for you that aligns with your values. Make sure the advisor understands your motivations for impact investing and has a proven track record of investing in that space.

Nothing is Without Risk

There is no guarantee with any investment what you’ll earn. Some investments lose money, some hold stable, while others can earn you a large percentage in returns each year. Of course, there are safer investments—like bonds or a global stock index fund which is highly diversified. But nothing is without risk. If you care deeply about a cause or want to make the world into a place you feel is safer and healthier, you don’t necessarily need to start a nonprofit organization or run for office. You can simply begin by investing in the companies and organizations that are working to make your vision happen.


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