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Your beliefs become your thoughts; your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions become your habits; your habits become your values; your values become your destiny.
– Mahatma Gandhi 
FOR PEOPLE 
AND PLANET

FAITH-CONSISTENT
INVESTING

WHAT IS FCI?

Faith-consistent investing (FCI) is the alignment of faith values with investment decisions. FCI (also called faith-based investing or faith-aligned investing) involves investing in a manner that reflects an organisation's values and principles – often aligning with environmental, social and ethical considerations. In this way, faith institutions seek to live their values in their investments. 

AVOIDING HARM:
DIVESTMENT

Many faith institutions start by avoiding investing in ventures that conflict with their values, such as the arms trade, pornography or gambling. Increasingly, this includes divesting from institutions that damage the planet or contribute to the climate crisis. That's why faith groups make up the biggest group of investors divesting from fossil fuels.

PROACTIVE
INVESTING

While faiths are good at knowing what they don't want to invest in, in recent years there has been a growing consensus that it's not enough simply to avoid harm. In order to live their values in their investments, faith institutions are increasingly considering how to invest proactively for a beautiful and just world and are actively seeking investments that reflect their values.

INVESTMENT
GUIDELINES

Developing faith-consistent investment guidelines is a vital step for faith groups seeking to align their investments with their values. These are the essential governing documents for faith investment policies. As one member says, 'Having clear and comprehensive faith-consistent investment policies and guidelines is a prerequisite for becoming fully mission aligned.'

FAITHS AS KEY STAKEHOLDERS IN THE PLANET

Faiths have huge outreach (84% of people worldwide say they belong to a faith) and hold enormous financial assets to build schools, hospitals, clinics and orphanages as well as distribute cash to support the poorest and most marginalised. They own investments, pension funds, private sector businesses as well as land and millions of buildings worldwide.

WHAT IS FAITH-CONSISTENT INVESTING?

Faith-consistent investing (FCI) is.... 

INTENTIONALLY aligning assets that are available to invest with what your faith community wants to achieve...

...by INTEGRATING faith beliefs, teachings and values into foundational investment governance documents and processes....

...as this ROOTS investment decisions and translates faith values into actionable investment language.

FAITH VALUES

Many faith groups share core values – for example, caring for the poor, feeding the hungry and protecting the vulnerable – which are expressed through their sacred texts and teachings.

 

Many also have officially approved statements or position papers on the environment, social justice, health, housing, weapons and other activities, based on their beliefs, teachings and priorities.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY 'ASSET'?

An asset is an item or resource containing economic value and/or future benefit that is owned or controlled by an organisation. Examples include land, buildings and investments. Such assets have value to deliver future benefits, and can be used to meet debts, commitments, or to further legacies and mission. 

Assets can: 

  • sustain (fund the organisation's existence and activities)

  • be used sacrificially (grants and giving)

  • be invested to spark new enterprises and new hope

WHY IMPLEMENT FCI?

Faith-consistent Investing, based on clearly stated policies and guidelines:

Expands the outcomes and influence possible by faith-based groups

Complements the good acts, grants, and positive messaging by faith groups

Clearly expresses faith organisations' commitment to their faith beliefs & values 

Prevents passive or inadvertent investing against a faith organisation's values

ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF FCI
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POLICY

Policy sets out your overarching goals and objectives as a faith organisation.

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GUIDELINES

Guidelines translate the policy into investment mandates and instructions.

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GOVERNANCE

Governance processes guide oversight to ensure investments stay faith consistent.

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COMMUNICATION

Communication shares objectives and investment activities to internal and external audiences

NEXT STEPS

Whether you are beginning this journey or reviewing your current policies, we can help.

  • Take a look at our WHAT WE DO page to find out more about the practical support we provide to faith groups and faith-based asset owners, including free-to-access services and benefits, and our paid-for services.

  • Download our guide to developing faith-consistent investment guidelines as well as other resources of relevance to faith-based investors.

  • Contact us for a free assessment of your faith-based organisation's current investment policies and guidelines.

  • Sign up to our Subscriber Network for the latest news and updates as well as early access to research and resources.

  • Join our FCI Interest group which meets online every quarter to explore issues around faith-consistent investing with other faith-based asset owners. 

  • Check out our FCI resources to learn more about faith-consistent investing and to begin your FCI journey.

  • And if you need specific one-one-one support, contact us to find out how we can help.

FCI RESOUCES & GUIDES

FCI RESOURCES & GUIDES

If you are beginning this journey, or reviewing your current policies, we can help. Download our guide to developing faith-consistent investment guidelines below as well as other resources of relevance to faith-based investors.

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In an effort to create an Investment Policy and Guidelines statement (IP&G) more in line with their values, the SHCJ European Province chose FaithInvest to help guide and accompany them on their journey of greater faith-consistent investing. This Case Study describes the process and results of this effort. 

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Faith-consistent Investing
and Smaller Organisations

This paper explores the challenges faced by smaller faith organisations that arise when the limited resources of small plans are stretched to meet the significant requirements for creating unique, customised investment programmes that reflect a faith’s values.

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Values to Investment, 
2021

All faiths document what they value in terms of social principles and environmental beliefs, but not all have integrated those values into their investing. Our Investment Solutions team has produced a guide to help them do so: From Faith Values to Investment.

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Written in collaboration with investment consultant NEPC, Faith-based Investment Governance explores investment governance, with a review of the typical structure, attributes, and characteristics of investment governance and focuses on unique aspects of governance for faith organisations

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Bold Plans conference
report,
 2022

'Excellent', 'riveting', 'inspiring' were some of the words used to describe our two-day Bold Plans and Faith-consistent Investing conference which brought  over 100 people together in October 2022. Find out why, plus key takeaways from the event, in our Bold Plans report.

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Sustainable Banking,
2021

For socially responsible investors, your banking partner matters. So how can you find a bank that shares your values? And what are the trade-offs, if any? FaithInvest investigates the issue in its State of Sustainable Banking Report – now expanded and revised.

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Our Good Intentions study (subtitled 'What faiths say about how they invest, and how they can do more') is a deep dive into publicly available faith investment policies and guidelines, and assesses the extent to which investments and values are aligned. First published in 2022, this is our 2023 update.

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Faith Long-term Plans
2021

The Faith Plans are long-term commitments by faiths to use their investments, land, buildings, purchasing power and influence to drive action on issues including climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development. 

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The English Sangha
Trust, 2023

FaithInvest worked with the UK-based English Sangha Trust to develop faith-aligned investment policies and guidelines. This case study outlines the process and how, as a result of this project, the EST reached the highest possible score on our proprietary faith-investing analytical framework.

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Impact Investing Roadmap,
2022

Our Impact Investing Roadmap  introduces three topics of relevance to faith-based investors: understanding alignment versus Impact, private markets for impact investing, and tradeoffs between impact and investment outcomes. 

SUPPORT US

By donating to FaithInvest, your gift helps us develop the free-to-access tools, programmes and resources needed to support faith groups as across as wide a range of geographies and capacities as possible. We are very grateful for any support you can give us.

Sincere thanks from everyone at FaithInvest!

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