Franciscan Sisters of Mary (FSM)


Roman Catholic Religious Order

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Franciscan Sisters of Mary is a Roman Catholic religious order that engages in left-leaning environmentalist activism based in Missouri. The order was founded by Mother Mary Odilia Berger to provide health care to the poor in the Midwestern United States. The organization has recently shifted from its original mission to focus on climate change activism through impact investing and “divesting from fossil fuel production.”

FSM is a partner organization of the Heartland Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of Windward Fund, a large environmental activism organization managed by the controversial Washington, D.C. based philanthropic consultancy company, Arabella Advisors. 1 2

Impact Investing

FSM claims that investment earnings cover 88 percent of the organization’s total expense. The investments of the organization are aimed mostly toward environmentalist climate-change activism. The organization does not invest in for-profit companies that manufacture or sell firearms, companies that derive revenues from military contracts, or companies that manufacture, produce, or sell tobacco-related products. 3 4


FSM donates money to a number of left-leaning environmental activist organizations., a radical environmentalist advocacy organization is listed on the “Philanthropy” page on FSM’s website. Other organizations that have received donations include Rare, a left-leaning environmental advocacy organization; the Nature Conservancy, the largest non-government conservation organization and the 20th-largest U.S. based charity; and Solutions Project, a member organization of the U.S. Climate Action Network, one of the largest environmental activist organizations in the U.S. and internationally. 5

Heartland Fund

Heartland Fund is a donor collaborative that claims to help “marginalized” communities in the Midwest. Franciscan Sisters of Mary is one of 5 founding entities of the Heartland Fund. The other 4 entities are Arabella Advisors, a left-leaning for-profit philanthropic consulting company; Wallace Global Fund, a left-leaning philanthropic organization; Windward Fund, an environmentalist fund managed by Arabella; and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. 6

Youth Climate Strike

Members of FSM participated in the St. Louis Youth Climate Strike in March 2019. Youth Climate Strike is a nationwide march organized through Action Network, an online platform used for organizing liberal and progressive events. Youth Climate Strike calls for a radical restructuring of American economic and social life through the Green New Deal. 7 8


FSM is not required to release public financial information due to its status as a tax-exempt religious nonprofit.


  1. “HEARTLAND FUND LAUNCHES WITH FIRST ROUND OF GRANTS. Windward Fund. Accessed May 1, 2019.
  2. “About us.” FSM. Accessed May 1, 2019.
  3. “Investment Criteria.” FSM. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  4. “Impact Investing.” FSM. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  5. “Philanthropy.” FSM. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  6. “Heartland Fund.” Windward Fund. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  7. “FSM Takes Part in Youth Climate Strike.” FSM. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  8. “Platform.” Youth Climate Strike. Accessed May 7, 2019.
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