Effective this April, the Patagonia Regional Community Fund (PRCF), which provides grants to charitable organizations in Patagonia, Sonoita, Elgin and Canelo and scholarships to local students, has adopted a socially responsible, or ESG, investing strategy professionally managed by the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF). 

Socially responsible, or ESG, investing takes into account various environmental, social, and governance factors in deciding what stocks and bonds to invest in. 

Environmental factors include seeking investments that tend to limit climate change, diminish the use of, or encourage the more efficient use of, raw materials, improve the recyclability of products and limit obsolescence of products. Investments in fossil fuel industries tend to be avoided, and investments in industries pursuing renewable power sources are favored. 

Social factors include companies that support human rights, employ equitable labor practices and require the same of companies in their supply chain. Investments are favored in companies that emphasize workplace health and safety, integrate well with their local communities, and are actively increasing diversity in the hiring and promotion of their employees. Other social factors include promoting consumer protections and animal welfare in the design, production, testing, marketing and recommended uses of products and services. 

Governance factors prioritize investments in companies that follow equitable and balanced principles with defined rights, responsibilities and expectations between the different stakeholders in companies (owners, managers, employees, suppliers and customers). 

Socially responsible investing has become increasingly prevalent and successful, particularly over the last five years. The evidence suggests this type of investing tends to be more successful than investing that does not take ESG factors into account. PRCF made this change after careful consideration of such evidence in order to better steward and grow the funds entrusted to it by contributors. 

If you wish to help PRCF increase its endowed funds so it can provide more support for our local community, you can make donations online at azfoundation.org/Patagonia or by check made out to PRCF and mailed to the ACF regional office at Arizona Community Foundation, 400 W. Fry Boulevard, Suite 6, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. 

Donations may be designated for the PRCF general Community Fund (PATCF), the Patagonia Town Fund (PATTF) or the PRCF Scholarship Fund (PATSF).