RSF Social Finance

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RSF Social Finance
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RSF Social Finance, located in San Francisco, California, is one of very few orgs actively seeking to and investing towards, a transformation of how we view and use money.[ citation needed ]


RSF is one of the last and most esteemed of the socially responsible investment orgs of the 1990s.[ citation needed ] RSF is a non-profit financial services organization offering investing, lending, and philanthropic services to individuals and enterprises. [1] [2]

RSF has over one thousand clients and more than $120 million in consolidated assets. RSF Social Finance is the trade name of Rudolf Steiner Foundation, Inc. and its affiliates. It has lent over $100,000,000 and made more than $50,000,000 in grants to non-profit organizations and social enterprises. [3] As of 2006, RSF was growing at a 60% annual rate. [4]

Lending as community-building in the 1980s

RSF provides access to capital for organizations committed to fair practices and improving economic conditions. It began by supporting independent Waldorf schools in North America and became very active in this in the 1980s. Commonly, a team from RSF came physically to school communities requesting a loan to build or expand their school. RSF team would meet all stakeholders in open public meetings, encouraging transparency at all levels. It was common for RSF to challenge the local community to raise 40% to 50% of the requested loan amount from its own resources. This seemingly drastic tactic proved catylyzing to many school communities who then overcame their own inertia and despair and rose successfully to this challenge. The process strengthened Waldorf school communities in this way.

Outside of Waldorf school and Anthroposophic enterprises, RSF actively supports a variety of small and medium initiatives, mostly food initiatives. Many of these are biodynamic or sympathetic to BD, melding ethical and spiritual ideas with practical farming and sustainability goals.

RSF was instrumental in introducing microfinance to Citi Private Bank. [5] The company has supported early-stage fair-trade companies unable to access loans from traditional banking sector. [6] The organization upholds transparency in lending: annually, borrowers are sent a list of those who made their loan possible, and lenders are sent the complete list of those to whom loans have been given. [4]

Microfinance is a category of financial services targeted at individuals and small businesses who lack access to conventional banking and related services. Microfinance includes microcredit, the provision of small loans to poor clients; savings and checking accounts; microinsurance; and payment systems. Microfinance services are designed to be more affordable to poor and socially marginalized customers and to help them become self-sufficient.

Citi Private Bank Subsidiary of Citigroup

Citi Private Bank, a subsidiary of multinational banking conglomerate Citigroup, markets Private banking services for ultra high-net-worth individual clients, including entrepreneurs and senior corporate executives. It has 60 offices in 23 countries. Citi Private Bank's major competitors are JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, United States Trust Corporation, UBS, and HSBC Private Bank.

According to Co-op America and the Social Investment Forum Foundation, RSF is one of the top 10 organizations which "best exemplify the building of economic opportunity and hope for individuals through community investing." [7] [8]


Siegfried E. Finser, Money Can Heal: Evolving Our Consciousness. The Story of RSF and Its Innovations in Social Finance, ISBN   0880105739

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

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Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organization with headquarters in Madison, WI, whose mission is to create opportunities for access to microfinance, services and markets to improve the lives and communities of the working poor in Latin America. WCCN works with partner Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Fair Trade Cooperatives in Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru.

Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to impoverished borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment, or a verifiable credit history. It is designed to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty. Many recipients are illiterate, and therefore unable to complete paperwork required to get conventional loans. As of 2009 an estimated 74 million people held microloans that totaled US$38 billion. Grameen Bank reports that repayment success rates are between 95 and 98 percent.

Seed money, sometimes known as seed funding or seed capital, is a form of securities offering in which an investor invests capital in a startup company in exchange for an equity stake in the company. The term seed suggests that this is a very early investment, meant to support the business until it can generate cash of its own, or until it is ready for further investments. Seed money options include friends and family funding, angel funding, and crowdfunding.

Accion International non-profit organisation in the USA

Accion is a global nonprofit with a mission to advance financial inclusion by giving people the financial tools to improve their lives. Founded as a community development initiative serving the poor in Venezuela, Accion is known as a pioneer in the fields of microfinance and fintech impact investing.

Triodos Bank company

Triodos Bank N.V. is a bank based in the Netherlands with branches in Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain. It claims to be a pioneer in ethical banking. Triodos Bank finances companies which it thinks add cultural value and benefit both people and the environment. That includes companies in the fields of solar energy, organic farming or culture. The name Triodos is derived from the Greek "τρὶ ὁδος - tri hodos," meaning "three-way approach". Triodos Bank's balance sheet was worth EUR 5.3 billion by the end of 2012. The bank was founded as an anthroposophical initiative and continues to honor the work of Rudolf Steiner as the inspiration for its approach to banking.

Social venture capital is a form of investment funding that is usually funded by a group of social venture capitalists or an impact investor to provide seed-funding investment, usually in a for-profit social enterprise, in return to achieve a reasonable gain in financial return while delivering social impact to the world. It deviates from the traditional venture capital model, which focuses on simple risk and reward. However, there are various organizations, such as venture philanthropy companies and nonprofit organizations, that deploy a simple venture capital strategy model to fund nonprofit events, social enterprises, or activities that deliver a high social impact or a strong social causes for their existence. There are also regionally focused organizations that target a specific region of the world, to help build and support the local community in a social cause.

Opportunity International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is working to end global poverty by creating and sustaining jobs. Through a network of 47 program and support partners, Opportunity provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to more than 14 million people in the developing world. It has clients in more than 20 countries and works with fundraising partners in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Opportunity International has 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt charitable organization in the United States of America under the US Internal Revenue Code.

Acumen (organization) non-profit organisation in the USA

Acumen is a non-profit impact investment fund with over 15 years’ experience in investing in social enterprises that serve low-income communities in developing countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the United States. It aims to demonstrate that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen can result in thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Over the years, Acumen has invested $115 million in 113 companies and has had a successful track record in sourcing and executing investment opportunities in the clean energy, health care and agriculture sectors.

Kiva (organization) micro-loan platform

Kiva Microfunds is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. Kiva's mission is "to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty."

Cultura Sparebank, branded as Cultura Bank, is a Norwegian savings bank in the ethical banking movement that uses its assets on ethical investments. The bank has offices in Oslo and has total assets of NOK 657 million (2014).

Social finance is an approach to managing money which delivers a social dividend and an economic return.

Friends of Women's World Banking, India, often shortened to Friends of WWB, India, or just FWWB, is an Indian APEX organization that assists microfinance and microenterprise organizations. Founded in 1982 by Ela Bhatt, it is located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

The Accion U.S. Network is an American nonprofit microfinance organization headquartered in New York, NY. It is the largest and only nationwide nonprofit microfinance network in the U.S.

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Social enterprise lending is a form of social finance which refers to the practice of offering loans and other financing vehicles below current market rates to social enterprises and other organisations pursuing social goals. This is often referred to as 'patient lending', or financing with 'soft' terms. Patient lending recognises that projects with social outcomes often reach profitability later than commercial projects. Softening the terms of a loan means that a social lender may offer provisions such as longer loan terms, lower interest rates and repayment 'holidays' where capital and interest repayments and are not due until the project is profitable. Social lenders might also offer small grants as part of an investment package.

Grassroots Business Fund

The Grassroots Business Fund is a non-profit based in Washington, DC. It has field offices in Kenya, Peru, and India. Their mission is to build and support high-impact enterprises that provide sustainable economic opportunities to thousands of people at the base of the economic pyramid. These enterprises are grassroots business organizations in developing countries that empower large numbers of the poor as producers of income-generating commodities and products, as consumers of affordable goods and services, and as independent entrepreneurs. GBF actively supports enterprises throughout Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.

The SEEP Network is a non-profit organization that acts as a network for practitioners working in microenterprise development and microfinance fields. Founded in 1985 by Elaine Edgcomb and Candace Nelson and sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Citi Foundation, USAID, and Omidyar Network, The SEEP Network since then has developed into a global learning community of 124 member organizations.

Gray Matters Capital

Gray Matters Capital is an impact investing foundation founded by Bob Pattillo. Its mission is to achieve "An education leading to a purpose filled life for 100, Million Women by 2036." GMC is based in Atlanta, Georgia with global offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Bangalore, India. The scale and the use of business practices with social enterprises makes it one of the leaders in impact investing.

Kashf Foundation

Kashf Foundation is a non-profit, microfinance and wealth management organization, founded by Roshaneh Zafar in 1996. Kashf is regarded as the first microfinance institution (MFI) of Pakistan that uses village banking methodology in microcredit to alleviate poverty by providing affordable financial and non-financial services to low income households - particularly for women, to build their capacity and enhance their economic role. With headquarters in Lahore, Punjab, Kashf has regional offices in five major cities and over 200 branches across the Pakistan.


  1. Earth Times
  2. Calvert Foundation
  3. Xigi Archived 2007-11-06 at the Wayback Machine .
  4. 1 2 Mark Albion, True to Yourself: Leading a values-based business, ISBN   1576753786, pp. 104-6
  5. "Citi Private Bank leading way on microfinance donor fund", Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, Friday, June 22, 2007
  6. Nitasha Tiku, "Do-Gooder Finance: How a new crop of investors is helping social entrepreneurs.",, February 2008
  7. Green Money Journal Archived 2007-12-05 at the Wayback Machine .
  8. San Diego Earth Times