We have helped hundreds of small businesses create jobs and solve pressing social issues
Since our 1992 founding, we have loaned over $8 million dollars through more than 300 loans and equity investments to world enhancing businesses. We have intentionally — and sometimes unintentionally! — inspired other foundations, institutions, and individuals to also invest in such businesses.
We helped launch the Fair Trade movement in the US through many loans to Fair Trade businesses and an early loan to Fair Trade USA, a Fair Trade certifier in the US.
We made our hometown of Media, PA, the “First Fair Trade Town in the US,” which has been followed by 44 other towns and cities doing the same. And, Fair Trade Campaigns sprang up, a national organization to support Fair Trade towns, universities, schools, and houses of worship.
Hal inspired Jay Coen Gilbert, who came up with the B Corp idea, and then in turn launched it with two friends. There are now over 2,500 B Corps in more than 50 countries.
Our 300+ loans have supported businesses in raising the bar in their fields. We look for businesses that are going a step beyond. Some of our favorite examples:
- Divine Chocolate, makers of super delicious chocolate products, follows all the Fair Trade rules. AND, it has given 45% of its ownership to the Fair Trade farmers from whom it purchases cocoa. Fair Trade is great, but ownership is golden and addresses the wealth gap.
- Wash Cycle Laundry came into existence to provide employment to returning citizens from prison, drug rehab, and domestic abuse shelters. It also models the financial success of using bikes instead of fossil fuel vehicles in cities. It further models using super energy efficient washers and driers plus green laundry detergents. It’s a super green job creator.
We are evangelizing to other foundations about moving their endowments into things that match their missions. We have been 100% “mission aligned” since our founding, thanks to Hal’s good sense. Now we are trying to unleash the trillions of endowment dollars to help and stop hurting the planet and her inhabitants.
Since our founding, we have
- Made over 300 loans, adding up to over $8,000,000
- Made our hometown, Media, PA, the first Fair Trade town in the US, educating and inspiring others to support fair trade
- Inspired the establishment of B Corp to certify Benefit Corporations
- Funded projects that offer real solutions to the climate crisis
- Supported replicable projects that directly address social or economic problems
- Helped businesses that hire from vulnerable populations
- Invested in businesses that have raised the bar within their fields
- Inspired foundations to align their endowments with their missions