“Who is my neighbor?”
That’s the question Robin John, CEO of Eventide Funds, encourages organizations to ask themselves. Business, he believes, has six neighbors: customers, employees, supply chains, communities, the environment, and society.
Upon meeting John and his leadership team, we discovered their mutual interest in, and dedication to, the intersection of faith and work. This conversation has evolved into a unique partnership between DIFW and Eventide. We have shared several blog posts in the past year — as well as an e-book — focused on loving our neighbors through business” (check it out here, here and here). We also had a lot of fun creating a video series on purposeful investing in partnership with Eventide.
Furthermore, one of our five Guiding Principles is “Embrace Relationships” and we live that out in partnerships like this. We want to stack hands with like-minded organizations in order to impact Denver, serve our workforce and reach people of faith across industries.
Jeff Haanen recently shared how the partnership between Denver Institute and Eventide originated, and how partnerships enable businesses and organizations to serve the workforce and community of Denver. Learn more about partnership opportunities here.
DIFW: How did DIFW and Eventide connect and become partners? What values do the two organizations share?
We first connected to Eventide through one of their employees and quickly discovered that we had some mutual interests in business and theology. When we looked into some of their guiding principles, we saw they had a very thoughtful perspective on how business can contribute to God’s world and human flourishing. The partnership grew from there.
Both Eventide and DIFW are passionate about the integration of faith and work and aim to develop a deeper understanding of how faith informs the role of business in our communities. Eventide has a ruling concept called “Investment 360” that guides their investment philosophy.
We saw their investment philosophy as an interesting and deeply practical application of loving your neighbor. By investing in companies on the basis of how they care for others as well as their investment performance, this is how they believe they can love their neighbors. This is just one principle that intrigued us and brought us together.
DIFW: One of the videos that DIFW and Eventide created together is titled “Investing is Ownership.” How does this idea resonate with you personally and how do you see it as an important concept for Christians in our cultural moment?
Originally, investing was designed to provide capital to businesses to help them grow. Now the everyday investor is much more distant from the success or growth of the companies they invest in. A lot of people are invested in stocks and mutual funds, but they have no idea what companies they actually own. Investors don’t know what those companies are doing with the money they’ve given to them.
The idea of “Investing is ownership” is a desire to help bridge that gap between the investor and the company once again. They want to help investors reclaim their ownership of and responsibility for their investments.
For us, these concepts are helpful lenses as we strive to see our involvement in society. It means looking not only at what we get out of our work or investment but also what we give to the world.
DIFW: How do you see Eventide helping to bridge the gap between faith and work for its employees and customers?
Many of Eventide’s customers have a common belief in impact investing, which is an increasingly popular form of investing where you’re investing in companies, that to generate a measurable social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. Other brokerage services now have ESG measurements of different companies and funds that measure social returns. So Eventide overlaps with people of different faith backgrounds who are thoughtful about investing and its power to do good in the world.
Eventide holds strongly to a philosophy of business that is focused on creating a flourishing world and loving our neighbors. It is part of their own vocation and calling. That motivation will create good for their investors and partners, as well as contribute to the trend of thoughtful investing. And as their mission statement says, ultimately, they’re motivated by faith: “Eventide strives to honor God and serve its clients by investing in companies that create compelling value for the global common good.”
DIFW: How can Denver Institute help partners like Eventide reach people who are also thinking about faith and work?
We tell unique stories. Stories about social good, company values, and workplace culture. We bring a strong theological lens to work as a part of God’s mission in the world. We are connected to leaders in a variety of networks and industries across Denver and across the region, and we create space for conversations. Through our events, blog and learning opportunities, professionals in every industry can come away with a theological lens for the impact of their work on society and their community.
We have access to a lot of thoughtful people, many of whom are in leadership roles in their companies.
Many business owners are interested in growing their network of connections outside of their industry or in the nonprofit community. We have made space for people across industries to make those connections to potential clients through sponsorship.
Laura Bernero is our blog curator, overseeing both internal content and contributions from our amazing network of writers. She loves all things creative communications, acting on the belief that we all resonate with great narrative and connect to one another through story. In addition to her role at DIFW, she manages media storytelling campaigns at SE2, a Denver-based communications agency. She was 5280 Fellow in the inaugural 2016-17 class and can’t wait to see the program continue to empower leaders throughout Denver in their unique gifts and callings.