RSF Social Investment Fund
Make a positive social and environmental impact while earning a financial return.
The RSF Social Investment Fund enables anyone to support positive social and environmental causes while earning a financial return. With a $1,000 minimum investment and a 90-day term, the fund provides an excellent long-term savings vehicle that supports social enterprises through a highly-targeted loan program.
A Brief Overview
The Rudolf Steiner Foundation Inc., d/b/a RSF Social Finance, launched the RSF Social Investment Fund in July 2000 as a non-profit public benefit corporation focused on making loans to support mission-aligned enterprises. By December 2021, the fund had $240 million in assets under management, with 1,669 investors supporting 61 borrowers.
The fund focuses on several areas:
- Food & Agriculture
- Education & the Arts
- Climate & Environment
- Women's Economic Empowerment
- Racial Justice
For example, since 2014, RSF has been a critical partner to Lotus Foods, one of the largest organic and heirloom rice and ramen noodle providers in the U.S. By providing timely and flexible financing, RSF helped Lotus Foods advance its mission to promote rice farming practices that mitigate climate change, save water, increase resilience, and empower women.
The Eastside Community School in Seattle, WA, is another example where RSF provided debt capital alongside other community investors to fund a five-acre campus. RSF's Waldorf Education Collaborative also provided a recoverable grant to help the school manage cash flow related to the timing of gifts and investments to put it on a solid foundation.
How to Invest
Individuals and organizations can invest in the RSF Social Investment Fund by creating and funding an online account. Each note has a minimum investment of $1,000, although the fund may waive the minimum in certain circumstances. So, if you'd like to invest less than $1,000, you may contact the fund to facilitate a smaller investment.
The interest rate resets on the first day of each calendar quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1). Unlike many other impact notes, RSF has a pricing committee that sets interest rates based on the needs of borrowers, lenders, and RSF's staff. The fund aims to enable optimal outcomes for everyone by involving every stakeholder.
Finally, investors can opt to reinvest compounded interest at the end of each quarter or receive interest payments as a check. The modest three-month investment term also makes it easy to cash out any investments without waiting a year or longer, as is typical for many other impact notes – an essential feature for long-term savings.
The Bottom Line
The RSF Social Investment Fund may not provide the highest interest rate. However, its quarterly liquidity, low minimums, and impactful lending make it an excellent option for long-term savings or short-term investments. With an online application process, it only takes five or ten minutes to get setup and start funding an account.
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Dec 04, 2023
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Impact FocusCommunity Development
- Support positive social and environmental impact while earning a financial return.
- Participate in quarterly interest rate conversations to balance impact and return.