FOR PEOPLE AND PLANET
Our goal is to
help the faiths to
use their investments
to make a positive
impact on the world.
WHAT WE DO
FaithInvest provides a network for faith-based investors. We are a source of education, exchange and collaboration and a platform for investment ideas, opportunities and concepts. We are a voice for the faiths and values-driven investors and a bridge between the religious and the wider financial worlds.
THE EMERGING FINANCIAL THIRD SECTOR
Faith-based investors are at the heart of a new and emerging category of investors: the Financial Third Sector. Third sector organisations are those which are neither public sector nor private sector but instead are not-for-profit, charity, community or voluntary groups.
They are typically values-driven and motivated by the desire to achieve social goals rather than solely accumulate profit.
Likewise, members of the Financial Third Sector – including religious fund managers focused on aligning their investments with their organisation's beliefs and values – seek to achieve environmental and social benefits through their investments, rather than merely, or even primarily, a financial return.
FaithInvest works to accelerate values-driven investing by faith groups – and, in the process, expand the scale and impact of the Financial Third Sector.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
We help the faiths to develop values-driven investment policies consistent with their beliefs.
We act as a bridge between religious investors and the wider financial world (especially socially responsible finance).
We help develop pipelines of potentially investable projects, generated from within the faiths or from our wider network of secular partners.
We organise events for members and a wide range of partners to collaborate and grow faith-consistent investing.
Our education programme helps the faiths to expand their values-driven investment practices. This includes specific faith-based online courses on green entrepreneurship and training on how secular and faith groups can work together.
WHAT WE DON'T DO
We are not fund managers.
We do not make investment decisions for the faiths.
Instead, we help the faiths to implement their own ethical investment policies in line
with their own core beliefs
WHY IS FAITHINVEST NEEDED?
There are clear differences between faith groups, and between the faith traditions within faith groups. For example:
The faiths' needs and expertise in investments vary widely, with some faith groups employing highly professional faith investment groups and others lacking any experience in the financial markets.
Some faith groups have a clearly defined their investment priorities while others have simple exclusionary portfolios.
Wherever they are in terms of experience and expertise, most faiths believe they can improve their values-based investment practices.
Our mission is to help the faiths – at all these different levels – to develop or refine their faith-consistent investment priorities and expand their values-based investing.
CHALLENGES FOR THE FAITHS
The faiths are good at not investing in industries they are against, such as tobacco or the arms trade. However, many have not clearly defined what they do want to invest in, in order to achieve the positive impact they seek in our world.
Other challenges include:
The non-transparency around assets and investment programmes in many faiths both weakens the potential impact and complicates delivery of solutions.
It is difficult to develop common 'product', possibly confusing messaging to business and government entities.
These challenges run the risk of reducing the power, impact and leadership capabilities of some of the faiths in the world of values-based investing.
We launched FaithInvest
to address some of these challenges. At the most
basic level, our goal is to bring the faiths together as collaborative partners in the drive towards investing in the positive impact they seek
in our world today.
PILLARS OF SUPPORT
FaithInvest provides four pillars of support to help faith groups overcome the above challenges. The pillars are: Network, Education, Platform and Voice.
PROJECT 1: The Pipeline and MOOCs
Partners: UNDP & the Scottish Government
Goal: To create a database of investible impact projects in under-invested regions. To encourage project ideas and creation as well as investment and funding commitments.
Narrative: This is a long-term ambitious project. FaithInvest will have a triple focus:
To create a distance learning programme – Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) free to all organisations. It will provide basic training in how to design a a business plan for value-driven investible impact projects.
To assist the most viable projects to move forward into being serious investment proposals.
To bring investable projects, after due diligence, to the table for faith investment.
To find out more, click here.
PROJECT 2: Understanding our faith community
Partners: The GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network), Social Finance Academy (Zurich University); Oxford University and other universities around the world.
Goal: To add transparency to faith group interest in, commitment to, and experience with, impact investing.
Narrative: One of FaithInvest's key priorities is to understand the needs and capabilities of its members better. We are working with The GIIN’s long experience with Impact Investing and data gathering and combining this with our own faith group relationships to begin collecting information that will direct future priorities and activities.
PROJECT 3: The Asia project
Partners: Local faith groups in Asia and India.
Goal: To explore and begin to chart the needs of faith groups and their investments in these regions.
Narrative: The most 'accessible' faith groups tend to be from Western nations. They have longer histories as ethical investors and are more established in the communities that are familiar to our staff. An attractive feature of the meetings that have led to FaithInvest has been the involvement of Daoists, Shinto and Buddhist groups.
This is an explicit effort to include and involve groups who may not naturally move in the circles of impact and value driven investing and who may need the most assistance in developing their faith-based investment programmes.
Helping the faiths engage with and inspire the investing world.
Helping the investing world navigate and support the faiths.