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. 

Groups like Outreach International and Global Orphan Project are doing a great job of working to make themselves obsolete. 

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?