WHO WE ARE
Oikocredit US (OUS) is the United States affiliate of Oikocredit International (OI), a 45 year-old global cooperative and social investor that makes impact investments in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve the living standards of low-income people and communities. OUS is a 34-year-old, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the impact of OI. We generate financial support for and raise awareness of OI’s impact investing and capacity building activities in the Global South. More information about what OI and OUS do is at this link.
MISSION AND VALUES
OUS promotes and facilitates the global work of OI, to catalyze a movement supporting a partnership approach to social investing, and to promote economic ecosystems that enhance human dignity and sustainability.
The name Oikocredit emphasizes our mission. “Oiko” from the ancient Greek, means house, community, and world. "Credit" originates from the Latin verb “credere,” meaning “to believe.” In keeping with these ideas, our motto is “Investing in People.”
Oikocredit challenges all to invest responsibly. It provides services and supports organizations to improve the quality of life of low-income people and communities in a sustainable way.
We envision a global, just society in which resources are shared sustainably, and all people are empowered with access to resources they need to create a life of dignity.
Our organization and our work embody six values: People, Sharing, Ecumenical Spirit, Grassroots, Integrity, and the Environment.
BOARD AND STAFF
OUS is led by a volunteer board of directors, which currently consists of members located in California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State.
Chad Toppass, President
Katelyn Haas-Conrad, Vice President
Charlotte Lott, Treasurer
Sara Price, Secretary
Matt Eldridge, Interim Chief Executive Officer
Sara Shoff, Chief Operating Officer
Amber Vroman, Marketing Communications Manager
In 1968, amidst Apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War, the World Council of Churches met in Uppsala, Sweden. Young, politically engaged church members wanted assurances that church investments were aligned with their values. The idea of an ethical investment channel for churches and related organizations was put forward, with the intention that investments would provide credit to emerging, sustainable companies run by people in low-income communities.
In 1975, the Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society, UA was legally incorporated in the Netherlands to pursue this mission.