Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF Social Finance)

Logo of non-profit finance organization, RSF Social Finance. (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $23,475,542
Expenses: $16,386,683
Assets: $113,869,899


Nonprofit Lending Corporation


Siegfried Finser

John Alexandra

Mark Finser

Ann Stahl

Philip Mees


Don Shaffer

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The Rudolf Steiner Foundation (better known today by its business name RSF Social Finance) is a financial services organization which receives its funding from a group of investors and uses its resources to issue loans and grants to a variety of businesses and advocacy groups with left-of-center missions. 1

RSF Social Finance invests in a variety of organizations, including those active in the arts and education. However, RSF Social Finance emphasizes its efforts on support for environmentalist organizations, particularly those in the food, animal liberation, and energy sectors.

RSF Social Finance  screens businesses and non-profits seeking loans through “an extensive questionnaire,” which requires the applicant to provide details regarding its labor practices and positions on environmentalist questions. 2


The Rudolf Steiner Foundation was created in 1938 as a treasury for the Anthroposophical Society in America, the American branch of the International Anthroposophical Society. The Anthroposophical Society is devoted to advancing the teachings of the philosopher, mystic, esotericist, and intellectual father of the controversial Waldorf Education System, Rudolph Steiner. The Rudolf Steiner Foundation is better known today by its public-facing, doing-business-as name, RSF Social Finance. 3 RSF Social Finance has undergone a drastic shift in its purpose, and no longer exclusively works to support the Anthroposophical society. 4

Social Issue Loans

The criteria for receiving this class of loans, beyond submitting an organizational mission with a left leaning, includes being profitable or being capable of demonstrating profitability, requiring between $200,000 to $5 million in loans, and proof of annual revenue of $1 million or more. 5

Businesses and non-profits with environmentalist missions which RSF Social Finance has provided loans to include Commons Energy, BlocPower, RecycleForce, and Malibu Compost. 6

Businesses and non-profits with center-left food and agricultural policies supported by RSF Social Finance include: Veritable Vegetable, Sea to Table, Guyaki, Vermont Land Trust, Common Market, Equal Exchange. 7

Food System Loans

Businesses and non-profits which expand the food infrastructure in the United States are issued loans ranging from $50,000 to $400,000. 8

Businesses receiving loans include Cairnspring Mills, a flour mill which aims to increase small-scale, small supply-chain flour mills as a viable business model. 9

Kevin Morse, the founder and CEO of Cairnspring Mills, was the director of The Nature Conservancy’s Puget Sound working Lands Program prior to creating Cairnspring Mills. RSF Social Finance provided Cairnspring Mills with a $300,000 line of credit to support the growth of Kevin Morse’s organization. 10

Seed Funds

Beyond loaning money to businesses and non-profits at a profit, RSF Social Finance on a far smaller scale makes grants, between $500 and $3,500 per organization, to left-of-center organizations. 11

The 2018 grant recipient list included:12

  • Abarrotes Bondadosa, an organization which supports food-welfare programs by expanding the means by which SNAP recipients can expend their funds.
  • Eyak Preservation Council, an environmentalist group organized to limit the commercial use of land and water in the interest of promoting wild-salmon habitats in Alaska.
  • The Nashville Food Project, an organization which aims to expand non-profit access to land and connect refugees to the United States with jobs in agriculture.


In 2016, RSF Social Finance reported that it is a 501(c)(3), meaning a charitable organization which does not pay taxes and can receive tax-deductible dollars. 13

RSF Social Finance reported in 2016 that it possessed a net $60,989,525 in assets, receiving $22,326,264 in “contributions and grants”, perhaps better described as funding from its investors, and generated $125,89214 in investment income and $683,973 in income generated through undisclosed sources. 15

In 2016 RSF Social Finance made $16,386,683 in expenditures while making $10,826,550 in grants. 16  $7,127,796 in grants to domestic organizations and $3,624,409 in grants to foreign organizations, foreign governments, and foreign individuals. 17


  1. “Investment” RSF Social Finance.
  2. Bussewitz, Cathy. ” RSF Social Finance links socially-conscious borrowers, investors” The Press Democrat. December 13, 2013. Accessed August 4, 2019.
  3. “About ” RSF Social Finance.
  4. “RSF Quarterly Spring `14” RSF Social Finance.
  5. “Get Funding – Social Enterprise Loans ” RSF Social Finance.
  8. “Get Funding – Food System Loans” RSF Social Finance.
  9. Danaher, Kate “A Hub for Bakers, Farmers & Researchers” RSF Social Finance. May 10, 2018. Accessed August 4, 2019.
  10. Danaher, Kate “A Hub for Bakers, Farmers & Researchers” RSF Social Finance. May 10, 2018. Accessed August 4, 2019.
  11. “Get Funding – Seed Fund” RSF Social Capital.
  12. Hye, Afsana “Announcing 2018 Seed Fund Grantees” RSF Social Finance. July 23, 2018. Accessed August 4, 2019.
  13. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed August 4, 2019, Part 1, Line 1.
  14. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed August 4, 2019, Part 1, Line 10. 
  15. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed August 4, 2019, Part 8, Line 11a.
  16. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed August 4, 2019, Part 1, Lines 8-22.
  17. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Accessed August 4, 2019, Part 9, Lines 1-24.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1942

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $23,475,542 $16,386,683 $113,869,899 $52,880,374 Y $22,326,264 $339,413 $205,042 $1,129,379
    2015 Dec Form 990 $21,264,230 $12,439,980 $89,009,617 $33,645,932 Y $20,992,023 $134,813 $92,494 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $16,688,364 $11,459,234 $179,055,072 $111,025,995 Y $15,849,038 $812,828 $15,086 $107,599 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $12,286,244 $12,160,566 $163,342,564 $101,918,353 Y $10,204,054 $615,560 $658,892 $158,109 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $13,790,836 $9,472,700 $152,316,507 $91,906,847 Y $11,966,326 $601,595 $594,098 $132,736 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $12,046,566 $8,481,570 $134,717,128 $77,609,999 Y $10,355,278 $621,031 $658,530 $475,355 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF Social Finance)

    1002 OREILLY AVE
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94129-5257