Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not Roman Catholic. May I invest in your funds?
Yes! Our screening matches the values of people of many other religious backgrounds.
Do you invest in companies that use stem cells for research purposes?
Yes, our screening permits investment in companies that conduct stem cell research with cells derived from human tissue such as cord blood. However, we do not invest in companies involved in embryonic stem cell research or fetal tissue research.
Do you invest in companies that produce alcohol or tobacco products?
Epiphany Funds does not have any alcohol or tobacco holdings at this time. We exclude companies that have direct involvement in the production of tobacco and significant retail sale of tobacco products. However, our screening does not prohibit investment in companies with alcohol ties.
Do you invest in defense contractors?
Yes, Epiphany Funds may invest in defense contractors. However, our screening prohibits investment in companies heavily involved in military weapons production or controversial weapon production such as biological and chemical weapons or anti-personnel landmines.
Do you invest in companies that donate to Planned Parenthood?
No. This is an absolute exclusion.
What is the difference between Epiphany Funds and other Catholic mutual funds?
In general, Catholic mutual funds all value the importance of life and refuse to invest in companies that are involved in abortion. However, much of that screening by other funds is only by SIC code. Unfortunately, screening by SIC code is less likely to identify all companies involved in the abortion industry. Our screening covers not just SIC code but also captures products, services and revenue to cover companies with any tie to abortion or abortion related activities. It includes companies owned or that own companies with an abortion ties. We further exclude companies that give corporate donations to Planned Parenthood. Other Catholic mutual funds may end their screening after excluding for abortion, or after additional exclusions such as for Planned Parenthood donations, embryonic stem cell research and pornography. However, at Epiphany Funds, our screening is robust and covers the full mandate from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition to screening for abortion, we follow the guidelines to screen for contraceptive products, embryonic stem cell research or fetal tissue research, human rights concerns such as child labor, wages and working conditions, discriminatory policies against minorities and women, adult entertainment, military weapons, workplace safety, lending activities for financial institutions and environmental fines. Each mutual fund is different so please read the prospectus and statement of additional information of the funds you are comparing carefully before investing.
What is the difference between Epiphany Funds and other non-Catholic faith-based funds?
Other non-Catholic faith-based mutual funds often focus on excluding vices such as alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. Our screening is more comprehensive and covers four major areas: life and family exclusions, social justice, environmental records and corporate governance practices. We do not hold alcohol companies but our screening does not exclude them. Under the FFV Scorecard, tobacco and gambling both have exclusionary screens that filter out companies that have 10% of revenue tied to gambling operations, 10% of revenue tied to tobacco retail sales, and tobacco production. Epiphany Funds does not have any holdings of these types of companies. Again, each mutual fund is different so please read the prospectus and statement of additional information of the funds you are comparing carefully before investing.
What are the USCCB socially responsible investment guidelines?
Epiphany Funds’ investment screening under the FFV Scorecard follows these objective principles. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) socially responsible investment guidelines are: 1) no investment in companies whose activities directly participate in or support abortion, 2) no investment in contraceptive manufacturers or companies that derive a significant portion of revenue from the sale of contraceptives, 3) no investment in companies that engage in scientific research on human fetuses or embryos that result in the end of pre-natal human life, are made of tissue derived from abortions or other life-ending activities, or violate the dignity of a developing person, 4) support shareholder resolutions to protect and promote human rights, 5) no investment in companies whose policies are found to be discriminatory against people based on ethnicity, race or gender, 6) no investment in companies that derive significant revenue from products and services intended to appeal to an interest in sex including games, films, videos, publications, and software, 7) no investment in companies involved in military weapons production or the development of weapons inconsistent with Catholic teaching on war (e.g., biological and chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines), 8) support shareholder resolutions to avoid the use of sweatshops, promote generous wages, benefit policies and adequate worker safety, 9) no investment in financial institutions that receive less than a satisfactory rating from federal regulatory agencies under the Community Reinvestment Act, and 10) support shareholder resolutions that encourage corporations “to preserve the planet” and encourage initiates for energy conservation and the development of alternative renewable and clean energy.