The Christian Investment Forum (CIF) is an independent, 501(c)6 non-profit trade association seeking to promote the knowledge and understanding of the concept of BRI. There is a strong need for the existence and growth of the Christian Investment Forum. Today less than 1% of investment assets are held with firms that publicly acknowledge and/or use BRI or other faith based investment decision processes. The vast majority of investors are not even aware of the existence of such firms. Many of those investors that are aware have not themselves thought seriously about why they should or should not follow those processes. Many financial advisors fear the change that comes with such a process or the greater fear of losing clients for those that argue BRI leads to lower returns. There is a lack of positive information available, some misinformation, negative perceptions and stereotypes about BRI in the mainstream press and the secular financial industry, leading to public sentiment that BRI leads to poor performance. CIF intends to positively reinforce the benefits of incorporating a BRI strategy into investment processes, and open the door to discussions about aligning and integrating investing with the values of the investor.
We as a community have largely surrendered the Capital and Business marketplaces without any effort or fight. Yet it is this very marketplace that, if integrated with our faith, could positively overwhelm all of the beneficial charitable giving we offer as symbols of our generosity. Its’ impact on our world, the poor, our needs and our faith could be immeasurable. For example, by increasing the use of BRI we can:
- Positively influence corporations to improve their relationship with employees, clients and the entire supply chain
- Positively influence individual investors who will more carefully consider how and why they invest, using those assets to improve our society
- Create greater wealth that is in the hands of those predisposed to give back to their communities and the world.
Why is the Christian Investment Forum and BRI necessary? Because tithing is only 10% of the solution. A separate strategic document will detail the plans to deliver the goals and objectives of the CIF, and achieve the vision articulated in this White Paper.
To build awareness and adoption of biblically responsible investing, and to offer resources to promote faith based investing strategies for Christians.
We view the concept of biblically responsible investing as investing that seeks to please and glorify God as a vital act of worship.
Who is CIF?
We are an Association of Christian investment professionals and companies. We strive to educate ourselves and the wider public on the benefits of biblically responsible investing (BRI) through research that leads to credibility, training that leads to knowledge, and networking that leads to influence.
In an effort to worship God through the investment selection, BRI is an investment decision making process that applies Christian values to issues facing shareholders and stakeholders regarding moral, environmental, social, corporate governance, and applicable Biblical principles. This coupled with traditional financial analysis provides a platform for investment decisions that allows us to view our role as stewards of God’s gifts to us and also respect the foundational beliefs of our shared Christian faith.
We believe in one true and eternal triune God; we believe in Jesus Christ as God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures; and we believe in his sinless life, his sacrifice in death and his victory in resurrection. We believe in his teachings that reinforced God’s two greatest commandments – “to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind; and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”
We are open to all who are Christians, and we hope to work hand in hand with all of God’s people. We desire to be an organization that will enable an open dialogue on these topics within the Christian community and among all of God’s people.
Who does CIF serve?
CIF humbly serves God and the members of the Association to assist them in our collective vision.
Who does CIF address?
CIF is intended to serve the needs of investment firms and provide valuable benefits to those member firms, but CIF also seeks to reach a much larger audience in its efforts to create greater public awareness. CIF addresses those involved in the integration of investing and faith, which includes financial advisors, investors, churches, and clergy.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
CIF is intended as a singularly focused group that would be complementary to Kingdom Advisors, NACFC and other Christian faith based financial industry organizations. Dues paying memberships and sponsorships will come from investment industry service providers, money managers, and non-profits/foundations. Associate or Honorary memberships at reduced or no cost would be available for financial advisors, clergy, and hopefully over time interested Christians at large. Associate membership would allow them access to information and research that supports BRI.
CIF will provide a forum of information (including a website, educational materials, seminars, public relations, and promotion) in addition to encouragement for advisors.
The main strategies CIF will utilize to achieve its vision are:
- To serve as a forum for all those interested in BRI; to enable an open dialogue and bring synergy to the community
- To allow all believers to think more deeply about the issues that concern Christians in businesses and the investors who own such businesses.
- To provide biblically responsible educational and research information to Christian financial advisors
- To assist advisors and money managers in developing effective intellectual property recognition and attention within the investment industry
- To provide biblically responsible investing educational information and awareness to the (church) and its leadership
The added values CIF provides to its members are:
- To offer visibility on CIF website and social media campaigns;
- To offer opportunities to develop firm specific visibility through speakers bureau, interview requests, and other press related events;
- To provide education, educational resources, and best practices to its members;
- To provide public policy support on issues important to its members;
- To provide networking opportunities to grow deeper relationships between members;
- To offer discounts on tools and services to support members and their firms
- To maximize our positive societal impact by leveraging members’ mutual goals and interests; and
- To build credibility and awareness of BRI in order to increase the market opportunity for its members.
The development of the Christian Investment Forum has the potential to have a significant impact on the nascent faith-based investing industry, as well as on the broader Christian audience to whom the industry serves. There is a large unmet need today to provide a forum for the industry to network, to gain knowledge from each other, and to have a broad platform from which to effectively communicate its vision. The formation and launch of the Christian Investment Forum in 2012 was the first step toward the goals outlined in this White Paper.