Joining people "from the other side"
It’s only been ten minutes, I thought, and people are getting jittery. We had invited leaders in business and in ministry to a discussion so we could sit around the same table and talk about the future. Almost immediately the topic of discussion moved to collaboration between business and ministry leaders. What transpired over the course of the afternoon was a lively volley amongst the attendees.
“Profit and competition aren’t curse words.”
“But coming from a ministry background …”
“Why would you ever settle for break-even when you could be making a profit?”
“Mission can’t take a backseat to the profit motive…”
“But if ministry-minded nonprofits aren’t sufficiently motivated to make money they are unlikely to succeed…”
As each one began to share his or her experiences, one takeaway became clear: whether coming from the business world, the ministry world, or both, everyone was frustrated! Communication between the two was difficult, to say the least. A week later we led another roundtable discussion to hear from others in business and ministry, and more than anything that meeting again confirmed: there’s a rift and we need to do something about it.
If we want to make real and lasting impact in the world for Christ, then we need to bring the best of business disciplines and execution together with the best of ministry's passionate pursuit of a vision.
Impact Investing Foundation helps bridge the gap, whether real or perceived, between business and ministry. We exist to accelerate impact and build sustainable transformation. Get started today at The Profitable Charity.
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.
REDEMPTIVE METHODOLOGY defined
An enterprise whose primary positive impact on the world happens through the way business is conducted. Its leadership, being rooted in Christ, follows the Spirit with intentionality for how they can participate in God's transformational work in the lives of employees, vendors, & customers while creating sustainable value. Read more and discover best practices.
The Verdant leadership team has spent a great deal of time putting together their framework for how they cultivate new opportunities. Starting with small explorations, they then perform a standard set of rigorous tests before committing in a significant way.
Having spent a week with the team on the ground as an outside observer, we noted there are three key drivers of success…
As a previous post discussed, aid isn't enough to sustainably overcome poverty. What we need is large-scale efforts: from far-reaching Microfinance to big businesses. This blog focuses on the Verdant Frontiers family of companies -- Verde Beef, Verdant Consulting, and Verdant Ventures -- and their efforts to reach scale in extreme conditions.
So far, Verdant Frontiers is generating more than 12,000 ongoing, long-term incomes in the local community. Having a positive impact with this kind of scale takes dedication, business excellence, and God’s merciful provision.
“Jobs – not aid – is the most urgent need of these starving people,” I thought. We crouched on the dirt floor of a twelve-foot diameter grass hut in the Omo River Valley of Southern Ethiopia. Twenty-one hours away from the capital city live the Kara, Hammar, and Benna tribes – people who use cell phones to communicate but whose ways are otherwise unchanged from those of their ancestors who settled the region thousands of years ago. Picture the most remote tribal images you have seen in a National Geographic magazine, and you are likely thinking of these people groups.
Impact Foundation has invested $33m in 62 companies through the end of 2017. As we deploy charitable capital to create economic, social and spiritual transformation, it is imperative that we have tools and data to shed light on the progress being made by enterprises in our portfolio. Are lives and communities actually improving through the investments we make?
Theory of change modeling and impact measurement are robust fields of study with reams of research papers and detailed theoretical papers. These researchers explain the differences between inputs, outputs, outcomes, and outcomes, but there's still much work to be done in translating this to best practices for busy entrepreneurs and donor-investors. We view some of that translation work as the unique role Impact Foundation can play.
Impact Foundation exists to invest charitable capital for economic, social, and spiritual transformation, our version of impact investing. It's the next iteration of philanthropy because innovative foundations and givers have recognized that all enterprises, not just charities, can produce both social and financial results on a spectrum from positive to negative. While we whole-heartedly believe impact investing is here for the long run, not everyone lives every day in this world. That's why we bring you this summary of the most important conversations in impact investing.
If you're new to the conversation and just wondering what the words mean, check out the FAQs and Resources and on our website.
The co-founders of Standard Cyborg and fellow Praxis Labs alumnae Jeff Huber and Garret Spiegel have been named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 for their pioneering work in making custom-fit prosthetics available widely and affordably. Congratulations!