Are we trying to end charity?
As I talk to people about impact investing--a set of investing principles that seeks social and eternal gains along with market-rate financial returns--and Ministry Enterprise--a charity or nonprofit creating earned revenue--I'm repeatedly asked if this message means we're trying to end charity or philanthropy.
Yes. And no.
Yes, in the sense that the goal of charity in the context of poverty should be to eliminate the need for charity. Rather than giving that creates dependency, we'd like to see giving that initiates and supports sustainable transformation. This means that people in poor communities become the agents of their own change rather than being recipients of someone else's charity.
But Impact Foundation and the Profitable Charity book are not out to end charity or philanthropy overall. Giving financially to support the Church (in the big global sense as well as the local church community) is an entirely biblical idea. Financial generosity is part of God's design for His world. It's not going away. To read more about the theology of giving, see this article from the Generosity Monk. There will always be causes--like evangelism, discipleship, bible translation, and many others--that should not be expected to fund themselves on earned revenue alone.
In fact, God's design for financial generosity includes continually striving for better ways to make a positive impact on the world. It's that spirit of innovation and the pursuit of excellence that drives Impact Investing Foundation and the Profitable Charity book.
So there you have it. We're not trying to end charity completely, just do it better, smarter, and more efficiently. We're striving for sustainable transformation as an important aspect of our biblical generosity.
What do you think? Are we on the right track?
When heeding the commands of a sovereign God whose purposes for His people are always good, there is no way to lose. The only true risk is to run from His call and bury our assets in the ground, where they cannot be put to work for His Objectives’
We want to move up and to the right — that’s success, right? More profit, more impact. And often that’s the line that secular impact investing keeps feeding us. A major study by the Global Impact Investing Network suggests there’s no trade-off between profit and impact. Does that need to be our definition of success too? Or does our faith compel us to a different standard?
If we want to make a dent in global poverty through our investments, we must become more familiar with this ancient practice.
Melody Murray, co-founder of Joy Corps and JOYN Bags and recent immigrant from the US to Southeast Asia, shares her perspective on being a foreigner and the promise of Advent.
This Christmas season, I have been remembering that Jesus felt all these things too. He was born into a condition of homelessness. He spent part of his childhood as a refugee in a foreign country and his adulthood with “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
Every profession has its hazards. For mine, it’s lawyer jokes and requests for free legal advice.
This blog contains neither, but it will provide a little education on the basic forms of corporations so you’ll sound smart when you call your own counsel.
Some states offer a larger array of options; this blog discusses the most popular entity choices including corporations, LLC, low-profit limited liability companies (L3Cs), and benefit corporations.
Anytime someone says, “I’m thinking of starting a nonprofit,” my immediate thought is to make sure I can’t talk them out of it.
As Dan Palotta points out in his semi-famous Ted Talk titled “The Way We Think about Charity is Dead Wrong”, charities/nonprofits face tremendous headwinds toward scalability. Palotta examined the number of organizations surpassing $50M in revenue since 1970, and found only 144 charities reached that level while 46,136 for-profit companies did.
Question: How much impact/financial return will I get from impact investing?
Answer: It depends.
Kingdom impact investing may be easiest to see in the context of poverty reduction and evangelism. But we have seen hundreds of companies tackling a wide range of issues through business models as diverse as bus seat manufacturing, hydroelectric power, software development, and a cattle feed lot. Likewise, the potential return for investors is equally varied.
Should I offer investors a SAFE or a convertible note? What’s the difference and is one always better than the other?
A convertible note is a type of debt that has the right to convert into equity when a company hits an agreed-upon milestone, typically the next round of funding. If the milestone isn’t hit, the company owes the investors their original capital plus interest. Cite.
A SAFE, or Simple Agreement for Future Equity, is “an agreement between an investor and a company that provides rights to the investor for future equity in the company similar to a warrant, except without determining a specific price per share at the time of the initial investment.” Cite
I’m training for the Kansas City Marathon to raise money for World Vision’s clean water initiative. It’s quite possibly the least efficient fundraising strategy I’ve ever tried. Considering the time involved in training, recovery and fundraising it feels like I’ve raised about 25 cents per hour. Fortunately, I don’t think that’s the way we’re supposed to measure success.
I would do the running anyway because I love it and it keeps me mentally and physically healthy. Raising money gives the running even more meaning.
Whether we realize it or not, the degree of influence, and the acceleration of that influence, that key digital gatekeepers are having in our lives and those around the world is exceptional. Big data aggregators with democratically charged algorithms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple are wielding powerful influence in how we think, where our attention is directed, how we search for the truth, and who has sway in our lives. The question is, where are we going with all this? who's taking us there? And how will this affect our societies, families, and the generations that follow?
I've spent many sleepless nights praying and wishing I could just get some rest. Recently we met Gary Brown, CEO of Spiritual Sleep Therapy and I wanted to share his story on our blog. Here it is in his words. …
One third of Americans (82M people) struggle with insomnia and 15% (36M+) struggle every night, two-thirds of whom are women. Spiritual Sleep Therapy (SST) is the first company to produce sleep sessions that use the most effective elements of cognitive behavioral therapy relaxation techniques combined with the power of God’s Word to help those who struggle with insomnia.