M3: Cabrini (MSSH) Next Steps

  1. What’s one aspect of your own internal work you’re going to commit to doing and by when? Please describe why it’s part of your most important work.
    • Establish a risk-return-impact scoring tool which incorporates the CST framework, similar to the one Felipe made for the workshop.  Important because it merges these three variables into one decision, allowing for more direct acceptance of higher risk or lower return if there is higher impact. Goal to do this by end of Q2 2021 and ideally use it during our annual portfolio review process. 
  2. What’s one step you’re going to take to embody Catholic Social Teaching in your investment decision making? By when are you going to make this investment or actualize this embodiment of CST?
    • See above. Also plan to build out a more exhaustive list of due diligence questions that reflect CST (ex. incorporate the Notre Dame Liveable Wage tool) 
  3. What’s one new individual relationship you want to set up a time to meet within the next 3 weeks?
    • Cindy Kroll – already done. Wish to learn more about her process and who led their reflection journey. See below for my response to CAC’s journey.
  4. What’s one peer group / small group that you might initiate or join to help you advance your most important work? What’s the deal, project, change-making focus for that peer group for you? Why do you believe it will be helpful and when do you hope to initiate and conclude that group?
    • Apis & Heritage: Already part of this group, unfortunately have very limited bandwidth to add additional thought/resources/input but will attempt to piggy-back off work of the group and see if we can leverage that into a small investment.
    • Kachuwa: Similar to A&H, interested in piggy-backing, but have no capacity to initiate or lead this effort. 
    • Goal with both of these is to dip our toe in the water to learn more about employee ownership / cooperative structures by making small investments in 1 or 2 strategies
    • Another goal to work with and support FSM (John & Ryan) in trying to keep the spirit of this workshop alive by considering financial support for future workshops, or for working groups that come out of this pilot workshop. 
  5. What’s one collective that you’re part of or plan to join?  What do you hope to learn from it? How specifically do you hope to influence and shape it?
    • Given constrained bandwidth, I do not have capacity to join another group, but I will continue to focus my efforts on sector building through my work with the Catholic Impact Investing Collaborative (CIIC), particularly focused on the Deal Sharing platform.

Miscellaneous Thoughts: Response to CAC’s Journey

@cpk835 (I think this is Cindy’s handle?): I found your reflections to be very inspiring and thought-provoking as the approach you took — to move slow and thoughtfully, bringing everyone along on the journey, establishing a solid values-based philosophy and framework — is the approach I originally intended to take upon stepping into my role with the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (Cabrini sisters).

I soon learned, however, that our leadership much favored the approach of Seth Godin (“…begin to make the change you seek with the right people, with those eager and willing.”) or Jerry & Monique Sternin (“It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting.”). Thus, we charged forward boldly, making several investments early on, leaning on the consensus and support of a smaller circle of decision makers within the Institute. We happen to have a lean, streamlined decision-making governance structure which allowed us to do this. Plus, we stuck to the “start-small” rule and kept each impact investment to a very small percentage of the total portfolio. To date, we have made nearly 20 private impact investments, but in total, they are still <4% of the investment portfolio which has helped to balance this boldness in learning as we go. (Most of our porfolio is in public markets and is negatively screened plus incorporates ESG principles. We aim to grow the 4% in private impact investments to 25% over time).

I appreciated your articulation of the tension between viewing financials resources through a prism of scarcity or abundance as I believe the perspective of abundance is what drove our sisters to push us to act so boldly early on. Our leadership consistently speaks from a position of abundance and sharing of our resources with God’s people, particularly in light of the urgency and scale of issues facing society and our planet. I admit, given my background in “traditional” finance, I struggled, and still do struggle, to shift from a mindset of scarcity to abundance.

2+ years into our journey, I now hope we can embark on a reflection period similar to that which you’ve already done. My hope is these conversations will allow us to focus and deepen our efforts while also broadening the base of internal stakeholders that are vested in the work we do through our investments. I look forward to learning from you how you managed this process and established such a thoughtful financial philosophy. I would love to draft something similar for our organization in the coming year.

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