Social Purpose Funds

Portico’s benefits are designed to help members embrace every day. For many, this means maximizing investment returns for the future while creating positive impact in the world today. In 1988, well before socially responsible investing became popular, Portico introduced its first social purpose (SP) investment funds. Since then, our commitment has strengthened, our experience has deepened, and our SP fund options now meet the needs of those wanting to be 100% SP fund investors.

Returns for Tomorrow … and Today

Portico’s SP funds give members the unique opportunity to invest their retirement savings in alignment with ELCA social teachings and policies.

  • SP funds invest in companies demonstrating measurable positive social impact.
  • SP funds screen out companies whose business practices conflict with ELCA social criteria screens addressing alcohol, environmental harm, gambling, military weapons, pornography, private prisons, tobacco, and denial of human rights.

By directing some or all retirement savings into SP funds, members can avoid supporting industries identified by the ELCA while pursuing two kinds of investment returns — retirement savings growth and measurable social impact.

Not all of Portico’s investment funds are SP investment funds. We ensure that members have choices about how to invest their retirement savings. Portico advocates for sustainable business practices that align with ELCA social teachings and policies via all our investment funds through shareholder advocacy.

Portico reviews ELCA social criteria screens and social issue papers to guide shareholder advocacy and investment decisions. We regularly engage with the ELCA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) staff and members of the CSR review team, which is made up of the ELCA director for Advocacy, the ELCA director of the Lutheran Office for World Community, the ELCA director for Theological Ethics, executive director for Domestic Mission, and other ELCA churchwide staff, as well as Portico staff.

Members have a range of investment fund options, and they can allocate savings across one or multiple funds.

Creating Social Impact Together

Social impact first (SIF) is a strategy Portico began using in 2015 to boost positive, quantifiable impact in all but one of our SP funds while striving for solid financial returns. Currently using up to 10% of a fund’s assets, fund guidelines allow for the possibility of somewhat higher projected risk and/or somewhat lower projected return in order to make SIF investments in companies going the extra mile to tackle issues like affordable housing and threats to the environment. Whenever possible, Portico seeks out SIF investments that create impact without reducing returns.

SIF investments carry no more than 25% greater projected risk and no more than 25% lower projected return than similar investments not prioritizing social impact. The remaining 90% of the assets include positive social investments with higher return projections than SIF investments.

Measuring SIF Effect

SIF investments demonstrate measurable impact, quantitatively and anecdotally, using metrics targeting key areas of ELCA mission suggested by the ELCA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Table. Potential SIF metrics that align with ELCA key areas of mission include:



  • Volume of potable (drinking) water produced and delivered
  • Number of people provided access to potable water
  • Volume of water processed through recycling, reclamation or reuse


  • Kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy or gallons of renewable fuel equivalents produced
  • Amount of energy saved/conserved in kWh


  • Area of land directly controlled and under sustainable cultivation/stewardship


  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalent

Community Development


  • Number and type of community development facilities built, renovated, or purchased


  • Number of permanent and part-time jobs created or maintained in low income areas and/or areas of diversity


  • Number of affordable housing units financed
  • Number of individuals that obtained affordable housing



  • Number of students enrolled in low income areas and/or areas of diversity


  • Diseases/conditions treated
  • Number of patients served in low income areas and/or areas of diversity

List of Social Purpose Funds effective October 2020

  • Portico Retirement 2065 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2060 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2055 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2050 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2045 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2040 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2035 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2030 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2025 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement 2020 Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Retirement Income Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Global Stock Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Non-U.S. Stock Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Stock Index Social Purpose Fund
  • Portico Bond Social Purpose Fund

Members should carefully consider the target asset allocations, investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds, including the Portico funds, are subject to risk and uncertainty. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Funds managed by Portico Benefit Services, including the Portico funds and ELCA Participating Annuity Investment Fund, are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, any other government agency, or the ELCA. Fund assets are invested in multiple sectors of the market. Sectors, like funds, may perform below expectations and lose money over short or extended periods. Review the Portico Investment Fund Descriptions and the Investment Memorandum for more information about the Portico funds.

Target date funds are designed for members expecting to retire around the year indicated in each fund’s name. When choosing a fund, members should consider whether they anticipate retiring significantly earlier or later than age 65, and select the target date fund that aligns with their expected retirement age. There are many considerations relevant to fund selection; members should choose the fund that best meets their individual circumstances and investment goals. Each fund’s asset allocation strategy becomes increasingly more conservative as it approaches the target date and beyond. Each fund’s investment risk changes over time as its asset allocation changes. The investment process used by the investment managers and the target asset allocation of the funds may change at any time, without notice.

Neither Portico Benefit Services nor the Portico funds are subject to registration, regulation, or reporting under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Securities Act of 1933, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, or state securities laws. Members, therefore, will not be afforded the protections of the provisions of those laws and related regulations.

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