Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Stewardship has been blessed by the generosity of our clients and partners, to support causes that achieve positive social and environmental impact, but also missional impact through our dedicated partnerships with Christian causes. This is not only inspired by the calling to be a ‘cheerful giver’ (2 Cor. 9:7), but also as a witness to the gospel which points to the light, our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:6-8, 8:12).
Through the growth of our community and their generosity, total assets held by Stewardship exceeded £200m for the first time in 2021. Of course, as generosity increases, the need and responsibility to steward these funds is a key priority for us.
We have worked to develop a new financial strategy which enables the capital and resources of Stewardship to be directed into investments which have both financial and Kingdom impact. This is achieved through the application of the ‘Bull’s Eye Approach’ as detailed in our new Investment Policy.
Over the coming year, we are seeking to make investments that maximise the impact that can be achieved in Tiers 1 and 2 of the Bull’s Eye. This increases the positive impact that can be achieved from the generosity of our donors in addition to the gifts that are granted to churches and charities.
Through a responsible and impactful investment approach, funding and capital can be directed to a broader range of organisations to support missional, social and environmental objectives. This would generate a return on capital which can then be recycled into further investments or enable more grants to be made in the future.
Church and Ministry Investments (Tier 1)
We have been making loans to churches and charities for over 30 years, with the portfolio at the end of December 2021 close to £25m. We continue to see this as a vital part of both our mission and our investment portfolio.
In 2020, we led a consortium of Christian investors, including some philanthropy clients, to purchase Kingdom Bank to ensure its future as the only UK bank focussed on serving Christian workers and churches and enabling Christians to invest their savings with a missional focus in the work of the Church.
More recently we have been reviewing our banking arrangements and have opened new bank accounts with Reliance Bank, which is part of the Salvation Army. Deposits made with them will enable business lending to organisations which deliver a positive social impact in the UK.
Impact Investments (Tier 2)
Our broader impact investments are underpinned by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and seek to create transformational change for under-served communities.
As followers of Jesus, we are compelled by our faith to do works that bring glory to our Father in heaven. James 2:18 encourages us to show our faith by our deeds. Impact investments provide the opportunity to do this by addressing inequalities and promoting sustainability through investments which direct capital to organisations that achieve positive social and environmental impact. This may involve providing working capital to charities and social enterprises to fund social outcomes or support vulnerable groups, or through companies investing in renewable energy or developing sustainable materials.
We commenced with an investment in a social bond in the second half of 2021 which supports a charity who provides supported accommodation to people with a learning disability, enabling them to build their lives and develop independence.
We are excited by the pipeline of investment opportunities on the horizon and the expanding range of impact investments becoming available in the market. We will be sharing more in the coming months on the impact and evolution of the investment portfolio. This includes an expansion of options to be made available to our donors to invest and grow their giving balances held in Donor Advised and Philanthropy Funds.
We would love to speak with you about how we might be able to serve you and the Kingdom in these areas. For more information, please contact the Philanthropy Services Team on 020 8418 8896 or [email protected].