The Soul of Investing with RSF Social Finance

Posted to Triple Pundit by Amber Bieg

What if your investments reflected your spiritual values? What if you put your money where your heart is?

RSF Social Finance is helping pave the way for investors and entrepreneurs to incorporate their values and even spirituality into their investing practices.  The company’s goal, as President and CEO Don Shaffer recently communicated at SOCAP 2015, is to transform the way the world works with money. Its way of doing this is by creating an entirely new model for investing — a model based on humanness and relationships, rather than the impersonal “business is business” approach of the current financial model. This new model is based on openness, transparency, aligned values, personal relationships and education.

RSF has worked to achieve this by creating an institution that functions both as a bank and a foundation. The company chooses to work only with social enterprises it finds to be inspiring and that need investment but may not be able to acquire loans from conventional banks.

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Envisioning a Wool Mill in California

 

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Why is California Throwing Away Wool?

While browsing my neighborhood farmers market on a sunny September afternoon, I met Rebecca King, a sheep dairy farmer and the owner of Garden Variety Cheese. Upon seeing the word “sheep” on the cheese label, my one-track mind immediately thought “fiber!” To feed my felt obsession, I quickly inquired if she happened to have any wool available. A bit surprised at my eagerness, King responded, “Why yes, I have way too much wool. Why, do you want some?” As we discussed her sheep and their fiber, she lamented about how much money she loses on the wool every year, as the annual cost of shearing (required for sheep health) is more than what she earns in wool revenue. We negotiated a price for a large bag of wool and the next week I walked home, smelling somewhat of a sheep dairy, carrying a huge garbage bag full of spongy felting wool. Continue reading “Envisioning a Wool Mill in California”

Gifting Circles – Building Sustainable Alternatives

I recently posted a presentation about Women’s Gifting Circles. In just a few weeks, the presentation was viewed over 30,000 times. The feedback and response has been overwhelming. The vast majority has been very positive and supportive. The primary critiques of my presentation have targeted my credibility by suggesting that I “don’t understand the benefits of women’s circles” or that I have been “brainwashed by a patriarchal system.” So I have decided to tell the story that can’t be conveyed in a presentation.
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Why Culture is Key to Good Marketing

Company (and organizational) culture is one of the most critical elements of marketing today because employees are not only brand ambassadors, but also the key to driving innovation and performance. Zappos (11th on greatplacestowork.com) is a good example of a corporation that has succeeded partially due to its corporate culture. Zappos is well known for its highly touted10 core values (found here: http://about.zappos.com/our-unique-culture/zappos-core-values).
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