Under the UUA’s community investment matching program, the UUA matched a congregation’s investment in a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with an investment of its own in the same amount (maximum $10,000), term (maximum 3 years), and interest rate as the note signed by the congregation. Recently, the UUA Investment Committee has decided that going forward it will no longer match new investments by congregations or renew existing matching investments.

Over the years, we have seen a decline in interest and participation in the matching program by congregations. Furthermore, the process of tracking, documenting, and renewing these notes has created a significant administrative challenge for staff. The UUA remains committed to investing in CDFIs and other more cutting-edge strategies for supporting underserved communities’ access to capital. We are working to find new and impactful opportunities to meet the 5% commitment to community investing made by the Investment Committee in 2021. 

UUA was one of the first organizations to meet the challenge issued by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (formerly called the Social Investment Forum) in 2001 to commit 1% of invested assets to community investments. In 2023, the Investment Committee took a major leap by ratcheting up its Community Investing goal from 1% to 5% of endowment assets. Some will be concessionary investments (i.e., below market rates) and some market rate investments – all designed to produce positive social impacts. To reach that goal, the UUA has undertaken a shift to larger community investments through “umbrella organizations” such as Oweesta, which focuses offering financial products and services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities, and Inclusiv , which helps low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. These umbrella organizations will conduct their own analysis based on their long-standing criteria and make the investment on UUA’s behalf.

The UUA continues to encourage congregations to invest idle cash and investment funds in community investments. The Association will provide resources on its website for congregations wishing to do so.

In service to the Unitarian Universalist Association,

The UUA Investment Committee