Benefit Chicago announces first round of funds

Community development investing |

Praxis invested $1 million in the program, which will support a variety of projects.

Benefit Chicago announced six organizations receiving the first round of funds after investors raised $100 million for impact investments and social enterprises. Praxis Mutual Funds®, a fund family of Everence®, invested $1 million in Benefit Chicago as part of the Praxis commitment to place more than 1 percent of its funds in community development investing.

Sweet Beginnings beekeeper

Sweet Beginnings, a honey-based production company that offers employment to the formerly incarcerated, is one of the first organizations to receive financing from Benefit Chicago. Photo from Calvert Foundation.

Funding from the program will go to organizations such as Sweet Beginnings, a company with a honey-based product line that provides job training opportunities to community residents who, due to former incarceration or other circumstances, find it difficult to get employment.

“We are inspired by the projects in neighborhoods across the world that strengthen communities,” said Mark Regier, Vice President of Stewardship Investing and Director of Sales for Praxis. “Praxis is proud our fund family can support these projects through our commitment to community development investing.”

Other organizations receiving support include projects that:

  • Create jobs for people who sometimes find it difficult to find employment.
  • Work with communities to revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods.
  • Grow produce and create sustainable jobs in urban neighborhoods.
  • Finance nonprofit-sponsored community facilities projects, including a children’s theater, a child care and family services facility and a youth sports and education facility.
  • Focus on revitalizing specific neighborhoods and streets.

Benefit Chicago launched in April 2016 as a collaboration among MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Community Trust and Calvert Foundation, with a focus on supporting organizations in the Chicago region. Over the course of the year, it raised money from investors interested in deep-impact community development investments.

About Praxis Mutual Funds and Everence

Praxis Mutual Funds is a leading faith-based, socially responsible family of mutual funds designed to help people and groups integrate their finances with their values. Praxis is the mutual fund family of Everence Financial, a comprehensive, faith-based financial services organization helping individuals, organizations and congregations. To learn more, visit and, or call (800) 348-7468.

Everence helps individuals, organizations and congregations integrate finances with faith through a national team of advisors and representatives. Everence offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits and stewardship education. To learn more, visit or call (800) 348-7468.

About Calvert Foundation

Calvert Foundation enables people to invest for social good. Through its flagship Community Investment Note®, more than 18,000 investors have channeled more than $1.4 billion in investments to hundreds of nonprofits and social enterprises worldwide. Investor dollars empower women, fund construction of affordable housing, provide loans to small-business owners, increase access to health care, and support fair trade and sustainable agriculture. To learn more, visit

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Foreside Financial Services, LLC is not affiliated with Calvert Foundation.

Calvert Social Investment Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, offers the Community Investment Note®, which is subject to certain risks, is not a mutual fund, is not FDIC or SIPC insured, and should not be confused with any Calvert Investments-sponsored investment product. This is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities; the offering is made only by the prospectus, which should be read before investing.