Investing for Impact

With the help of faith friends from our gathering of Faith Driven Investors, we’ve begun drafting a set of Unifying Principles. Our hope is that we can begin to come together under these thoughts and ideas to work toward a more full vision of what it means to let our faith drive our investments.

If you have thoughts, questions, concerns, things you’d change or add, please let us know! We’re relying on you, our community, to make this resource the best it can be.

Marc Andreesen once said (something that Warren Buffett has since popularized) that he would invest in a house or a boat but not a houseboat. What he meant was that he wanted to put his money toward an investment (i.e. a house) or give it away to charity (i.e. a boat). His point was that he avoided making impact investments with less than market returns. We disagree with this approach.

Many investments that come out of this movement are going to be focused on providing at, or better than, market rates of returns as compared to other, more secular products in their fields. Others are going to have outsized impact in other areas of impact from job creation to discipleship, but might fall short of market financial returns. Ours is a movement that celebrates both of these groups of investments. Faith Driven investors aren’t afraid of investing in excellent houseboats.

Instead of an either/or mentality, we approach investments with a both/and thought process, or a multiple-bottom line mentality as some may call it. This means we search for companies that are a good investment because of the financial, social, and spiritual impact they are making.

We don’t believe you have to give up one in order to have the other. In fact, the best investments usually offer you multiple sources of return.

Using Scripture as Our Guide

  • Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

  • Psalm 112:5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.

  • Proverbs 11:25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

  • Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.