Saturday, November 25, 2006

Vista Divestment invests in community

Cindy Crebbin reported, special to your Catholic Herald, on this group, made up of 14 couples, most with ties to Holy Apostles Parish in New Berlin, a Milwaukee suburb.
Through prayerful discernment, the couples meet once a month and decide to which small- or medium-sized group in the greater Milwaukee area they will donate money. Procedures are in place in order to focus on these smaller agencies or groups that do not receive funding from larger organizations such as the United Way or Red Cross.

Before the group decides to give a donation, members visit several organizations they are considering to assist monetarily. The visitors report to the group what they learned about the organizations' needs.

As the group's name implies, it has some similarity to an investment club. Groups soliciting funds describe the needs they claim to be trying to meet, but there aren't performance reports like the financial reports an investment club would use in researching where to put its money. Vista, at least, makes personal visits, though even that does not necessarily tell how well an organization converts donations into services.

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