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Posted by on Jan 7, 2022 in Faith and Work Movement, vocation, Work | 0 comments

A Season of Change: Denver Institute CEO Transition Planned for 2022

A Season of Change: Denver Institute CEO Transition Planned for 2022

Today I announced to the DIFW community that this will be my last year as the CEO. Here’s what we wrote on the transition website: “Denver Institute for Faith & Work’s board of directors announced January 7, 2022, that Jeff Haanen will transition the CEO role to a new leader in 2022. This leadership handoff was initiated by Jeff and comes after 10 years of dedicated service to the organization. The DIFW board will immediately begin preparing to conduct a search for the next leader. Jeff will continue as CEO until a successor is named later in 2022.“ I also composed a letter to the DIFW community, which I’ve included below. For more information, see our CEO Transition web page. Dear Denver Institute Community, I write today to share the news that after much conversation, reflection, and prayer with the board of directors, I’ve decided to step down as CEO of Denver Institute for Faith & Work at the end of 2022. It has been a privilege and honor founding...

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Posted by on Dec 13, 2021 in Nonprofit, Work | 0 comments

The Incredible Power of Monthly Giving

The Incredible Power of Monthly Giving

Denver Institute for Faith & Work just launched a new monthly partner community. Above is the video we created to accompany our new webpage denverinstitute.org/give.  It came after a year of thinking and research about a single question: How does a nonprofit scale its impact? It’s a good question, one that many nonprofit leaders are also asking. And it makes me think of another question many people have about their giving: how can I make the biggest impact on the issues I care most about? Last fall I started to dive into our numbers at DIFW. Though our budget had consistently grown, one area had remained flat for years: the number of monthly givers supporting our work.  This was troubling because any nonprofit has recurring expenses (such as staff salaries, program expenses, office space, etc.) and monthly givers were our most consistent and predictable source of revenue for years. So I decided to step back and do some research on how nonprofits scale their impact. Viktoria Harrison is the co-founder...

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

A Reflection on Hope for Advent

A Reflection on Hope for Advent

On the first Sunday of Advent each year, around the dinner table my family lights the first candle of our wreath, the candle of Hope. Well, my four daughters first battle for who gets to light the candle – and then we light the candle. Not only do we await the coming of the Christ the child in the season of Advent, we also await his Second Coming, which is the most basic hope of Christians. At our offices at Denver Institute, our Wi-Fi password happens to be Isaiah 65:22 (actually [email protected], in case you ever drop by.) The reason is because the message of hope in Isaiah’s vision of a new heaven and new earth includes our work.  The LORD says in this passage, “See, I will create a new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and...

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Posted by on Oct 22, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

Resetting Your Career in Midlife

Resetting Your Career in Midlife

“Midway upon the journey of our life,” writes Dante in the first lines of his Inferno, “I had found myself in the dark wilderness, for I had wandered from the straight and true.” I wonder if Dante was making a comment on the crafty nature of sin, creeping up from behind like a silent fog when we least expect it…or just the bewildering challenges of being middle-aged. Several weeks ago, I called Dan, one of my friends, who’s nearly forty. “How are you?” I asked. “Well, nothing new,” he said with sigh. “Same job. Same family. Same house.” He went on to explain that nothing was wrong, per say, other than feeling the reality set in that he was no longer in his twenties, filled with notions of changing the world. He wasn’t depressed, but aspiration had slowly given way to some combination of responsibility and reality, seeing in one hand a mortgage statement and in the other the scars of a thousand tiny disappointments after almost two decades...

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Posted by on Sep 4, 2021 in Finance, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Why Every Faith-Driven Investment Firm Needs to Hire a Theologian

Why Every Faith-Driven Investment Firm Needs to Hire a Theologian

Recently I got a prospectus from a faith-motivated advisory firm that outlines what they invest in as Christians. On one level, the responses were predictable. They don’t invest in alcohol, cannabis, pornography, or weapons. And they do invest in companies that have ethical leadership, policies that value employees, and a “positive societal impact.” But after reading the prospectus, I had to pause and say to myself: this is really, complex stuff. On one level, investing is quite straightforward: capital should be used to bring about returns. Yet, what is positive societal impact? What companies are “ethical” and which aren’t?  Aren’t all companies – like people, a mix of good and bad, moral and immoral? How do you even think through ethics? And which societal impacts are primary, and which are secondary? Why? I’m not trying to be esoteric. Here’s an example for you for you make an investment decision, shared with me by a dear friend and leader in the faith-based investing space. Example 1: Building materials company The...

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Posted by on Jul 22, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

From Giving Money to Relinquishing Power: The Three Phases of Generosity

From Giving Money to Relinquishing Power: The Three Phases of Generosity

Giving can change us, but I’ve noticed it doesn’t change everybody equally. Having closely observed hundreds of donors through my work as a fundraiser and nonprofit executive, I’ve tried to ask: what is the actual process of becoming like Christ through our giving? Is there a logic or pattern to the ways people change through their giving, especially Christians? Might giving actually move us backward in character growth, becoming cynical or even resentful of charities? I’ve found there are generally three phases that God invites a giver to experience, represented by two questions about giving and finally a relinquishing of power. “How much do I give?”Spiritual Journey: The first step in the journey is discovering the other. Givers heed Jesus’ call to “love your neighbor as yourself” and use money as a tool to serve the needs of others. This is often an awakening to the needs of the world and the ways that money can be used to help meet spiritual, economic, and social needs. This Phase is...

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