Four Decades of “Seed to the Sower”

Forty years ago, twenty-seven religious communities invested $360,000 to form the Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund. The regional nonprofit loan fund was established in 1983 to relieve poverty and foster social justice in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

“The birth of the Leviticus Fund was a truly collaborative effort among women and men from different religious orders who pooled their resources and put it in direct service to the poor,” said Greg Maher, executive director of the Leviticus Fund. “They realized they could do more working together than on their own. The original group of 27 religious community members has now grown to 66. These members provide flexible, low-cost capital to the fund, and their focus on justice animates what we do each day.”

The keynote speaker at the reception was Rev. Julius Walls, Chief Operating Officer of the A.M.E. Zion Church, headquartered in Charlotte, who served on the board of the Leviticus Fund from 2013 – 2022. In his remarks, he reflected on the theme of the Fund’s anniversary year, “Seed to the Sower,” from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.

“God has given each of us plentiful seed to plant, harvests beyond our wildest dreams, certainly more than I could imagine or ask,” said Rev. Walls. When we give cheerfully to “look after the least, the lost and the last … we are thanking Him. Our generosity is thanksgiving to God.”

According to Maher, “The Leviticus Fund helps build houses, apartments, early learning centers and economic development projects by providing the hard-to-obtain financing that gets these projects off the ground and helps complete them. With the support of our founders, funders and friends, the Leviticus Fund continues to plant the seeds of justice and assist those who are vulnerable and often forgotten.”

The Leviticus Fund’s lending focuses on stabilizing and improving the economic and social conditions of low-income individuals and families, and providing flexible financing and technical assistance to businesses or projects that align with their strategic mission.

Over the last 40 years, Leviticus’ $208.5 million in cumulative lending has helped bring $2.99 billion of project based private and public capital to projects, helping nonprofit developers increase their scale and impact.

PICTURED ABOVE: Founders and early supporters of The Leviticus Fund: Sister Pat Russell, OSU; Brother George Schmitz, CSC; Sister Margaret Flood, OP; Brother Larry Atkinson, CSC; Jim Flood; Sister Bernadette Kenny, RSHM; Sister Pat Wolf, OP; and Sister Joan Correia, OP.

Greg Maher, Executive Director of the Leviticus Fund (center) with David Raynor (left) and Brother George Schmitz, CSC (right), former Executive Directors.

Keynote speaker Rev. Julius Walls, Chief Operating Officer of the A.M.E. Zion Church, and Leviticus Fund board member from 2013 – 2022.