Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jesus Mutual Fund

What is a Jesus Mutual Fund?

Well let’s quickly talk about what a mutual fund is. According to Wikipedia, a mutual fund is a professionally managed type of collective investment that pools money from many investors and invests it in things like stocks, bonds, and securities. Many individuals, groups and companies engage in these funds because the benefits of the investments are “mutual” and if all goes well, YOU benefit. You put in some to get some more. Of course ALL investments include some kind of risk. You risk losing some or all of the money you put in if the investment runs sour, not to mention investor fees and expenses. We can also assume that with our current economic mess, the risks just got bigger!

A Jesus Mutual Fund is a collective investment where individuals or small groups invest together with an objective to change the world. A Jesus Mutual Fund is an intentional and strategic way of giving with different initiatives every 6 months. It’s an opportunity to be challenged; it’s an opportunity to learn; it’s an opportunity to respond to the growing injustices of our world. A Jesus Mutual Fund can be modified and adapted dependent upon the group of individuals engaging in it. It’s up to YOU!

How It Works:
1. Pick Your Partners: Get with 3-5 friends, co-workers, family members, or neighbors who are ready and willing to give. These individuals are your investment partners and should have similar convictions and interests in poverty, human trafficking, clean water, etc. Those you trust or want to build more trust with are highly recommended as partners but not necessary.

2. Choose Your Investments: There are literally tens of 1,000s of non profits and causes out there. As a team, first discuss which causes you want to support. Then choose which organizations to go with and try to be as specific as possible. The possibilities and combinations are endless. This step will probably require research into the issue and organizations. Here’s an example: Fight Human trafficking by starting a JMF partnership with the Million Kids non-profit to provide safe housing, education and basic needs for former sex trafficked children in Cambodia. (Check out for ideas on where to give)

3. Decide How Much You’ll Give: Here’s the challenge you’ll give to yourself and to your partners. Challenge one another to give a certain percentage of income or fixed amount every month for 6 months. Keep in mind, if $1 will sponsor a child for a day, then $1,800 will provide for 10 children in 6 months. In a group of 4, that’s $75 a month per person. A few dollars saved a day can literally save lives, so Think Big!

4. Choose An Investment Manager: This individual’s main duty will be collecting the money to give to the organization(s), sending it to the organization, giving status updates, recording the numbers, and organizing meet-ups. It’s the organizer of the group; You know who you are!

After 6-months: Consider increasing the amount of giving as a group, choose to continue to give to the current organization(s) or choose new ones. After 1 year the group will have an annual portfolio and can compare the results of the two 6-month periods of strategic giving.
Here’s an example of a JMF that is actually happening right now!
Mike, his best friend, his aunt, and a college buddy meet up twice a month at Starbucks and currently invest $1,400 every month at an average of 18% of their total incomes. Their first 6-month JMF included funding over 40 entrepreneurs in Kiva’s microfinancing program, sponsoring 3 children through Compassion International, supporting a safe-house in Myanmar, funding student ministries at local campuses, purchasing materials for underground student movements in China and providing supplies for a local after school care enrichment program. Their next 6-months focused more on the issues of human trafficking and their giving increased to $2,000.

If we have 20 JMF groups, giving an average of $2,000 every month, that’s nearly half a million dollars in a year!

Go and get started!
It doesn't matter how much you have. What matters is how much you are willing to give from what you have. 2 Corinthians 8:12