Every movement requires next steps.
areas where action is required
There’s a great opportunity to further the conversation of Faith Driven Investing in Several Areas. Contact Us if you know of things happening in each of these spaces or are passionate about it and want to get connected with others in that area.
Establish BIBLICAL FOUNDATION
Establish a clear, Scripture-driven foundation for FDI. This work has already been done by others, so we believe it’s more about curation and alignment around a one-pager. We’ve started that with this executive summary and would love to hear your feedback!
DEVELOP A TAXONOMY
Develop a taxonomy that takes inventory of the different types of investment vehicles that currently (or could) exist in the future. This will allow the FDI community to be more precise in evaluating and talking about different types of Biblically-driven investment opportunities. A taxonomy might distinguish things such as:
Which funds look to invest in companies whose products and services are redemptive (e.g. apps that look to decrease divorce rates, or assist in addiction recovery).
Which funds might focus on a specific cause (e.g. the environment, or creating jobs in impoverished regions of the U.S. and the world, UN sustainable development goals?).
Which funds might invest in companies that are seeking to integrate faith into their business in a variety of specific ways (e.g. chaplaincy). These companies won’t necessarily sell a product or service that is “redemptive.” but their focus is on ministering to the needs of the people around an enterprise.
Foster Transparency and Common ground
We must recognize that there are ample opportunities for conflicts of interest and squabbles to emerge. All participants in FDI must covenant that they will seek to be radically i) transparent in their dealings with disclosure of all existing / potential conflicts, ii) seeking after common ground with fellow participants, and iii) generous with their networks and relationships. This movement can’t be about “us” or any other participant.
Exploitative vs Ethical vs Redemptive
Our partners in the movement, Praxis, have done a great job of creating a “spider web” framework where they examine different vocations through this 3 part lens. The FDI movement of course needs to flee any practices that are exploitative, but we need to resist settling for merely ethical (transparency might be an ethical trait for instance) and strive for practices and an ethos that are redemptive. A discussion of what that might look like is needed.
Measurement of Impact
Methodology on measuring the impact of underlying investments. We want to focus on those that create impact from the products or services produced by a venture, and those that come from the way that a venture is run. Also, measurement of themes (community needs, environment, Gospel etc.)
We need to get “product on the shelves”. New funds/managers are undoubtedly part of the solution, but there is also a great opportunity to work with the very best existing faith driven fund managers. They have a track record of excellence and an easier “lift” when launching new funds and could drive more rapid development by "retrofitting" the fund management industry to include faith focused funds. Such managers could create funds that invest in companies that embrace initiatives like chaplaincy.
Commission research that looks at results from faith driven investment opportunities (the returns of publicly traded companies/real estate/private companies run by Christians). Is there an opportunity for a joint venture between different schools, universities?
Faith Friendly Community Development
Discussion around how to support Faith Friendly Communities and build on the momentum that has resulted in new communities at large companies (AAPL, GOOG, SFDC etc.)
Invest in ChaplaincY
Chaplaincy is not the be-all and end-all of spiritual integration in a company. In fact, it's not even the most important expression of spiritual integration. The heart-level transformation of the leader is the most important. But chaplaincy is a key tool (and oftentimes the most effective tool) wielded by a transformed leader to care for their team.
Distribution Channel WorK
We must encourage trusted financial advisors (family offices, fund advisors, RIAs etc.) to include these funds in their offerings and to educate Christ-following clients about these stewardship opportunities.
Interested in getting involved with one of these initiatives? Already know of something happening in these spaces and want to connect with others? Send our team a note and we’ll try and connect you with others working in these spaces.