Sixty-five percent of 160 socially responsible mutual funds from members of the Social Investment Forum outperformed their benchmarks in 2009, most by significant margins, the forum said.

The funds span a broad array of asset classes, including balanced, large-cap, small-cap and global funds. In the large-cap category, 72.6% of the funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by an average of six percentage points.

“This analysis underscores the reality that socially responsible investments offer what are genuinely competitive returns,” said Cheryl Smith, chairman of the board at the Social Investment Forum and president of Trillium Asset Management.

The 22 fund families represented in the analysis are: Access Capital Strategies, AHA, Appleseed, Ariel, Azzad, Calvert, Community Capital Management, Domini, Gabelli, Green Century, Integrity, Legg Mason, Meeder Asset Management, MMA Praxis, Neuberger Berman, New Alternatives, Parnassus, Pax World, Portfolio 21, Sentinel, Walden and Winslow.

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