Things we pray for
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful
I keep wanting you to be fair
But that's not what you said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that's not what you said
When I get to heaven I'm gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful
With the opening of another year - this year special as it marks the official launch of Impact Foundation - we've been intentional to start in prayer. Not just to ask for stuff, but to center our hearts on what really matters. And to remember and be thankful for what we see God doing. His ways aren't always what we expect, as the lyrics above point out, but they're always good.
With that introduction, I'll share a few things that we're praying for and a few things for which we're thanking God. If you're so inclined, we welcome you to join us in these prayers.
- Surround us with the right people - those who share the vision, who are smarter and more experienced than us, who will speak truth in love and point out where we're in danger of going astray - and keep the wrong ones away.
- Give us discernment and patience to turn down opportunities that aren't right for us. Much as we love all opportunities, some are outside our sweet spot and distractions can be the death of startups.
- Financial provision. It would be awesome to make payroll every month.
- For the network of National Christian Foundation. First, we're all incredibly grateful for our time there - the cool people we've met, the incredible experiences, lessons learned, and opportunities we were given. Next, we ask the Lord to protect their leadership, to guide them through narrow places, to keep their hearts near Him, and to rain down blessing.
- For each of our portfolio companies and their leaders, bless them with wisdom, provision, focus, and excellence in execution.
- Gratitude that we had a bit of wisdom to say no to early suggestions and opportunities that wouldn't have been right for us.
- Gratitude that we can approach the throne of God and that through His Son our prayers are heard and welcomed.
- Gratitude for our TAX EXEMPTION. We prayed. We got it fast. Yay!
- Gratitude that God has invited others to walk this road with us. We'd be lonely and not nearly as equipped for this work on our own.
What are you praying for in 2016?
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!
How does a family of seven from Ohio end up living in the midst of goat herders in Kyrgyzstan and developing access to worldwide markets for luxury cashmere? After hearing Sy Belohlevek tell his family's story, the answer seems to be God and grit.
June Cashmere's 100% cashmere yarns are collected directly from Kyrgyz shepherds living on small family farms along the ancient Silk Road amidst the soaring mountains of Central Asia. June is the Kyrgyz word for animal fiber, which is a centuries old vital resource and essential element of their nomadic lifestyle. From felted woolen rugs, to the clothes on their backs, june has made itself an indelible part of Kyrgyz culture. Additionally, the uniquely warm properties of the cashmere from their goats allow them to sustain cold and long winters in the vast mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
After successful careers in the musical sales and financial services business, Joe was ready for a new challenge. So, during May 2013, he went on a 4-day fast and committed to God to sow (invest and give) 90% of his personal income to the work of the Kingdom of God on earth, and to live on 10% of his income.
The very next day, while driving, Joe saw a sign announcing a new Wal-Mart Store opening in his area. He felt God speak to his heart to contact Wal-Mart and try to begin a business relationship. Having spent his Saturdays serving meals to homeless men, Joe developed a burden to help. Over time that burden grew into an idea to offer affordable insurance to help people land on their feet even after the toughest life situations.
Ethiopia has changed since the famine of the 1980's that prompted pop stars to raise funds through a lovely concert and catchy tunes. Explore the current landscape with one of our portfolio companies.
Verde Beef Processing is a feed production, cattle fattening and beef processing business Located in Ethiopia’s largest state, Oromia (about 3 hours from Addis Ababa), Verde Beef is raising the country’s largest herd of cattle.
Verde has been leasing a processing facility but is quickly outgrowing it. Overall, this business is on track to scale to $100mm in revenue and $38M EBITDA per year. At that level of productivity the company will employ 2,500, and create 50,000 new jobs in the beef industry.
Work is how I amass enough power and wealth to make other people work for me.
Business is the means by which a few owners get rich through the effort of others.
The highest calling of a Christian in business is to make a lot of money to give away to the church and ministries.
We may not say it quite like this, but many of operate as if these lies and half-truths are true. If this is how we view work, it's no wonder that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or are completely disengaged (according to a Pew Research Poll.) This lame understanding of work also limits our potential to partner with God in some really amazing ways. By renewing our theology of work, we can better understand the role of business in the Kingdom of God. This is essential if we are to realize the power of business to serve as winsome witnesses of the Gospel, creatively demonstrating our faith by being part of the solution.
Pete Ochs" business Seat King exemplifies the best of "Redemptive Business" as a means of creating jobs and transforming lives.
Expanding on traditional Evangelism/Discipleship, the idea of Redemptive Business borrows heavily from Praxis Labs’ concept of a “redemptive entrepreneur”, or one who seeks to embody the gospel in creating and building a venture that leaves a meaningful impact on the world.
In the first 18 months of Impact Foundation, we have place $30 Million in 53 Impact Companies, spanning the globe from Silicon Valley to Laos. The impact of those investments encompasses most of the main categories of transformation sought by traditional charity plus a few areas that charity cannot reach. Read about the causes and places that our investments seeks to transform.