Opportunities for inspiration
When we start talking about “faiths” and “money”, they often seem awkward partners. We might think of a local church or temple struggling with its roof-fund or a slightly sinister institution divorced from its original ministry and now part of some huge conspiracy…..but many faiths, as organisations have been around for a long time, accumulating resources - and also running schools, and hospitals and supporting communities…and managing their funds through their own investments.
Increasingly, there has been a move among faith institutions to invest with a more conscious sense of responsibility and now investing for environmental sustainability and social change are two of the prime incentives within those
Our big sister organisation FaithInvest is at the forefront of reviewing, advising and supporting the changing pattern of faith investments
We invite you to take a moment or two to read the introduction below about the work of FaithInvest. Step sideways from here and visit their website and find out more about a quiet revolution in how communities work with the world
FaithInvest is also the host of several other key initiatives and if you’re not bothered (or even offended) by money, drop into INCR and visit the Faith Longterm Plans and see how a world of faith groups are creating ways of moving forward with a greater degree of environmental awareness. The Plans are gathering momentum and on the INCR site there are already plans from Mongolian Buddhist, Baha’i, Green Faith, Armenian, the Bunyoro Kitara Diocese in Uganda groups among others….
Extracted from the FaithInvest newsletter, February 2021
Martin Palmer reflects on how FaithInvest is building a team that holds the worlds of faith and finance in dynamic tension
Dear friends, FaithInvest, as its name implies, brings together two worlds which often seem far apart – the worlds of the major faiths and of finance. The reason we do this is very simple. While many people think the main role of faith is to preach, we know they are also major stakeholders in the planet and its people. As well as owning a great deal of land, and running 50% of all schools and around a third of all medical centres or hospitals worldwide, the faiths also together comprise a significant investment bloc in the global stock markets. It is this stakeholder role that Faithinvest addresses and to help us do so, we are building a team which holds both these worlds – faith and finance – in dynamic tension. We're also holding discussions and developing partnerships with faith and secular organisations. Conferences and webinars One partnership we are delighted about, and which is already yielding fruits, is with the Geneva Agape Foundation. Together with our other partners the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance, we co-host the very successful annual Faith-driven Investing Conference. This year the conference took place online and was split into two events. The first on January 15 had a Europe-Africa focus and was very successful, attracting 150+ participants. The second conference, Walk the Talk: Asia focus, will be held on March 5 and we're delighted that UNIAPAC is also involved. Despite the early start for those of us not on India time, judging by the last event, it will be well worth attending – and recordings of all the sessions will be available to watch online afterwards. Two more important webinars coming up next month are: Managing financial assets and investments on March 9 and on Creating your own Faith-Consistent Investment Guidelines on March 23. See below for more details on all these events.
New models As, God willing, the pandemic retreats, there is an urgent need to bridge ancient divides and overcome the silo worlds that have led to the dramatic collapses – of societies, economies and environment – that we have witnessed in recent years. We need to create new models and partnerships, and pool resources and ideas, to meet the challenges facing us and to create a fairer, more equitable and just world. Faithinvest is, perhaps, one of the harbingers of this sort
of future. But it can only do so with your active engagement. We look forward to the next steps on this journey.
FaithInvest helps religious groups to invest in line with their values. We support the rapidly growing movement of faiths actively using their investments to create a better world – for people and planet.
FaithInvest is an international, not-for-profit membership organisation for religious groups and faith-based institutional investors. Our aim is to grow the scale and impact of faith-consistent, values-driven investing worldwide.
The world's faiths have billions of dollars invested in the global stock markets, across all asset classes. We empower religious asset owners to align their investments with their faith values, for the benefit of people and planet.
We do this by providing:
· a NETWORK for faith-based investors
· a SOURCE of education, exchange and collaboration
· a PLATFORM for investment ideas, opportunities and concepts
· a VOICE for the faiths and values-driven investors.
Faith Long-term Plans programme – now the biggest environmental initiative ever launched by the faiths
Our Faith Long-term Plans programme, organised in conjunction with the International Network on Conservation and Religion (INCR) and WWF's Beliefs and Values Programme, has sparked huge interest among faith groups. The programme is now the biggest and most ambitious environmental initiative ever launched by the world's religions. All major faiths are involved, including Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Daoist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Shinto and Sikh traditions, as well as key interfaith organisations such as Religions for Peace and the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative. The Plans will be announced ahead of the UN's COP26 Climate Conference, and will be rolled out over the next seven to 10 years.