Purpose of the Diocesan Investment Trust (DIT)
The Diocesan Investment Trust serves various purposes. First, the DIT provides parishes with the opportunity to invest their funds in institutional vehicles that have been carefully screened for performance, cost, and purpose, and which are not available to individuals. Second, parishes know that their investments are overseen by the trustees. Finally, the DIT is committed to offering investments that meet socially responsible screens, achieving acceptable market rate of returns (net of fees) or meeting benchmarks.
Structure of the DIT
The Board of Trustees for the DIT is comprised of five voting members (representing various parishes within the Diocese) and two ex-officio members (the Bishop and the Treasurer of the Diocese). The funds of the DIT are professionally managed with oversight by the trustees. The trustees, who serve without compensation, typically have business, finance, or legal experience and more often than not serve on a number of outside boards.
Investment Choices within the DIT
There are currently three investment choices within which parishes may allocate their funds.
•The first is an equity investment. Currently this is in TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Fund. This fund invests in stocks that pass two main social screens: the fund excludes companies whose major source of revenue comes from alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons production or nuclear power; and remaining companies are evaluated on a number of issues including environmental stewardship, human rights, community relations, employee relations, workforce diversity, product safety and quality, and corporate governance. These guidelines are closely aligned with those established by The Episcopal Church.
•The second choice parishes have is a bond investment. Here the vehicle is the Vanguard Intermediate Bond Market Index Fund.
•Parishes also have the option of a money market fund.
Participants may allocate their assets to the bond, equity, or money market funds as they see fit and may change their allocation from time to time as circumstances dictate. Participants are allowed into the funds on one set date each month, but may liquidate at any time.