Ethics and spiritual principles should be the basis of everything we do in life.  All that we say.  All that we think.  Every activity should be based on that--especially business strategy. This page was created to show that by engaging in ethical & charitable activities, businesses will not only benefit through long term profitability, but will make a difference in the world as well.  And that's something everyone should strive for.

Socially responsible investors have proved that not only do business and ethics mix, it can also be a winning combination.  In the past 2 years, many socially responsible corporations and mutual funds have been among the best stock market performers.  In 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index became the first global index that tracks the performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.  These are the businesses that derive long-term returns from economic, environmental and social developments.  Finally the business world is listening to the social idealists.

Some of the most influential businesses include the Women's Equity Mutual Fund (FEMMX), which invests in public companies that advance the social economic status of women in the workplace.  It's a prime example of socially responsible investing, and the WEMF is proud to be a mutual fund that makes use of this progressive investment strategy.

The Green Century Funds employ another socially responsible strategy: Invest in the companies that are leading the way toward a greener future. Refuse to invest in companies that are polluting the planet.  If you want to start a portfolio of socially responsible funds, a wide variety are available from Pax Funds.

Over the past decade, shareholder activism has brought about numerous positive changes, although nothing to equal the movement's crown jewel--its role in bringing an end to apartheid in
South Africa.  It's too early to tell if socially responsible investing will revolutionize corporate America.  But it has already changed how tens of thousands of investors think about investing, and that in itself is revolutionary. 

With all the extra cash flow some businesses accumulate, the usual answer might be to invest in R&D, acquire new companies, diversify SBUs, or give out dividends.  And these are all valid options.  But wouldn't it be better for profitable businesses to give back to society through charitable organizations instead?  Which is better:  turning one million into two, or helping someone with cancer or AIDS live more comfortably for the last days of their lives?  Wouldn't you want to use your profits to see a girl with a developmental disability who was once an outcast from stereotypes become truly happy and fully integrated into the life environment of children without? 

There is an unspeakable number of charities businesses can become involved in and share the wealth with.  Cases in point: The Ronald McDonald house & its support of cancer victims and building housing for people to be with their sick and dying relatives in cities.  Petro
Canada's support of the Nagano Olympics.  And Zellerís employees who have pitched in with their campaign for cystic fibrosis.   One charitable organization worth mentioning is the Bubel-Aiken Foundation, a collaborative effort by Diane Bubel and Clay Aiken, formed to spread awareness and financial assistance to areas of the disability community traditionally under-served.  Clay works to give 14 year old Michael Bubel, who has lived with autism since age 2, a full life.  By investing in special education, providing services and financial assistance, this foundation aims to extend the boundaries of the human experience for all.

So get on board.  Many firms have become privy to the long-term altruistic returns donating profits to charity can bring.  From the immortal words of the Beatles: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."



Ann Castaldi