The World Evangelical Alliance and FaithInvest have signed a collaboration agreement setting out how they will work together to increase faith-consistent investing globally to achieve a more just and sustainable world.
The aim is to inspire the Alliance’s network of 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide to take a deeper look at how and where their money is used as well as to support faith-based entrepreneurs and communities to develop investible enterprises designed to protect the environment and address social concerns.
As well as providing opportunities for WEA’s network to access FaithInvest’s training, services and expertise, the two organisations will work together on joint events and projects. One of the first of these is a proposed major event in Geneva, Switzerland, in January 2024 bringing faith-based investors together in an ‘alternative Davos’ to look at values-driven approaches to the economy, around the time of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.
Other joint activities agreed include sharing knowledge and expertise – for example, in supporting faith groups to set investment policies and guidelines (FaithInvest) and in developing financial vehicles to fund faith-based projects (WEA Global Foundation Fund). They will also work together to identify investment engines that produce win-win-win scenarios (people, planet, profit) for values-driven investors, including members of the WEA Business Coalition which provides strategic and thought leadership for evangelical leaders of businesses, ministries and churches.
WEA Secretary General Bishop Dr Thomas Schirrmacher said it was vital for evangelical churches and institutions to consider whether their values were reflected in their investments. ‘I am deeply convinced that there is a need for evangelical churches and their many ministries to look into what we own, the assets we have – the many schools, the many buildings and all the gifts that have been given to us that, in the end, come from the hand of God,’ he said.
‘This money and these assets have to serve the same purposes that we ourselves serve and to have the same goals that we want to achieve with our overall ministry, such as a free society, a just society, a society that gets the good news that there is forgiveness, that we can start anew, that we can be reconciled. All those things have to be seen in our money and in how our money works for us.’
In FaithInvest, the WEA has a partner that understands that the way faith groups invest money is different to other organisations, Bishop Schirrmacher said: ‘So take this seriously as an offer. If you are interested as an evangelical institution to talk about this, connect to us and to our Business Coalition and we will connect you to FaithInvest, for training and for support to find the right place to invest your money.’
FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer said FaithInvest was honoured and delighted to be working closely with the WEA, the second biggest network of Christians worldwide after the Catholic Church. FaithInvest is an international non-profit organisation founded to support faith groups to invest in line with their values by helping them develop values-driven investing policies and guidelines.
Martin Palmer said: ‘At FaithInvest, we talk about faith-consistent investing by which we mean: what do your teachings, your values, your beliefs lead you to want to see for the world? And is your money serving that purpose? What has impressed us about the World Evangelical Alliance is that it really wants to know how you can be faithful from beginning to end; not just at the points at which you have the money to do good but also how that money is generated and where it’s used.
‘We are very excited, through this collaboration agreement, to work together to support the WEA’s network of evangelical churches and institutions in ensuring their money and their assets reflect their purpose.’
FaithInvest is a UK-based international non-profit organisation founded to empower the faiths to invest in line with their beliefs and values, for the benefit of people and planet. We support faith-based asset owners to develop faith-consistent investing policies and guidelines to enable them to align their investments and their values.
The World Evangelical Alliance
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals belonging to churches that are part of 143 national Evangelical Alliances in nine regions. Launched in London in 1846, the WEA unites evangelicals across denominations for prayer, evangelism, mission, theological education, religious freedom, human rights advocacy and engagement in a wide range of social issues. It speaks with one voice to United Nations, governments and media in public or through behind-the-scenes diplomacy on issues of common concern to the Church.