After the flurry of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many of us are glad to see Giving Tuesday coming around the bend, offering a different focus for our pocketbooks. Created in New York in 2012 as a response to the commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season, Giving Tuesday presents us with an official opportunity to set aside consumerism and begin the holiday season thinking of others. We at Nia love this time of year and take this opportunity to honor our non-profit partners on the path to transform our financial system.
As investors, we can accomplish a lot by infusing our capital into businesses creating the world we want to see. We know that our investment dollars, leveraged in strategic ways, can be used as tools for change, helping to build a fair, just, and sustainable next economy. At Nia Global Solutions, we build a transparent, solutions-focused, liquid investment portfolio in the public markets, to address one small (yet significant) aspect of our system that needs change.
And yet, transforming the way our society works with money will take a multi-faceted, systems-approach with both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses collaborating together for change. Disrupting our capital system needs to occur at all levels of investment and across the capitalization spectrum, from early stage start-ups to multinational corporations. Assets of all sizes and types count. From investing in solutions-focused publicly traded companies working to solve our world’s largest challenges, to moving money to our local community banks and making loans or loan guarantees to earlier stage businesses and non-profits.
Many types of businesses and organizations are needed to address our collective mission, as it’s a big one. Together many of us are working to educate investors and their advisors on best practices for aligning money and values, to curb and correct behaviors of our largest companies, to create more just and transparent investment vehicles, to re-envision and harness our capital system for good.
We at Nia are grateful for our non-profit partners each working on different aspects of the system.
This year our chosen organizations are all Bay Area-based and all have a global, multi-national reach. Their efforts each represent vast potential for changing our financial system, for holding big business accountable, and for harnessing the power of business to create sustainability and justice.
As You Sow is a power-house organization engaging companies to build and adopt strong social and environmental policies. This team encourages large companies to do the right thing; promoting corporate responsibility through its many programs including shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.
Rain Forest Action Network is an activist organization using people power to challenge business as usual. RAN works to protect our forest environments and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. We love that RAN runs powerful and effective campaigns holding our largest corporations accountable.
RSF Social Finance works to revolutionize the way we work with our money and investments. Taking a holistic approach to funding social entrepreneurs, this team goes above and beyond, providing both the capital and the community needed for success. In addition to making timely loans to organic food, farming, and education efforts, RSF is actively supporting the conscious investment movement. With a $1000 minimum to open an account, RSF offers a beautiful way for many of us to begin impact investing.
Sum of Us is a global consumer watchdog, a growing online community that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable on issues such as climate change, workers’ rights, discrimination, human rights, animal rights, corruption, and corporate power grab. We love their strategy of uniting individual consumers and investors to take action and make change; running and winning campaigns to hold the biggest companies in the world accountable.
Transform Finance is the newest organization on our list, also exploring ways to use finance as a positive tool for equity and shared prosperity. Working with investors, asset owners, entrepreneurs, and social change agents, this group seeks to move capital in transformative ways to expand and prove the potential of bold new approaches to the role of finance in our world.
As we move forward into the holiday season, we at Nia Global Solutions hope to inspire others to look at their communities and support those organizations doing vital work toward making the world a better place. Here is to giving thanks to the many people and organizations on the ground who are working hard to achieve that for all of us.