The Blueprint is a document about social change, written for change makers. The focus of this Blueprint is to show how faith-based organizations can use finance as a tool in their work, whether by disrupting or influencing current systems, forging new alliances or partnerships with individuals and organizations that are already using finance for social change, or by crafting new models that fundamentally shift how power operates in the economic and financial relationships within a community.
The Blueprint does not assume expertise in finance or investment and recognizes that, in the minds of many, the ethos and incentives driving financial institutions and faith-based organizations are often vastly different. The Blueprint assumes that finance can be a new strategy, like direct service, community engagement, or advocacy, that faith-based organizations can employ to motivate and encourage action for justice.
While using systems of finance for social change may be a new approach, the barrier to entry may not be as high as anticipated. Faith-based organizations can build on their existing networks, power, skills, and experience. And they do not have to do this alone. They can identify new collaborators who can help shape ideas, bring in new allies, and carry the work forward in partnership.
Who can use this Blueprint?
This Blueprint has been prepared as a guide for Christian faith-based organizations actively seeking to create transformative social change, whatever their specific issue focus or context. It shows them how they can design strategies that use systems of finance and private sector investment as tools to create positive social change.
Although Christian churches and other faith-based organizations are the key audience for this Blueprint, we see the lessons here as highly relevant for other religious communities and for a wide array of organizations and individuals, such as the philanthropic community, corporations, and donor agencies. In addition, investment professionals can make use of this Blueprint to think through how to effectively collaborate with faith-based organizations and other change-making organizations.
Please share any reflections or stories you may have with Christina Madden, madden at criterioninstitute dot org.