At the core of their missions, the women’s movement and the institutions of the church both equip leaders for change work.

We partner with institutions to allow them to act as stewards of the momentum we build together through simple actions and demonstrations of new possibilities for reinventing the economy. Systems change cannot be sustained through individual action and institutional demonstrations alone. With input from the many people we work alongside, we develop strategies to engage leaders in these institutions, because we believe that institutions are integral to the long term sustainability of any effort to use finance as a tool for social change.

We embed this work in the institutions themselves, shifting the orientation of the various expressions of church and the organizations of the women’s movement to recognize reinventing the economy as part of their core agenda. Our programs work to integrate the call for economic change into the church’s understanding of its call and mission and help women’s organizations see finance as a tool for social change. Through our programs we invite, engage and equip leaders, networks and institutions who, over the long term, will take a seat at the table and together create an economy that works for all.

For example, we are currently collaborating with the Ms. Foundation and the Global Fund for Women to research, to build, and to test a blueprint for women’s funds involvement in the field of gender lens investing. This blueprint will provide a path for women’s funds (and eventually women’s and girls’ organizations more broadly) to shape the field of gender lens investing and to build the capacity to use finance as a tool for gender equitable social change. We also work closely with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Domestic Hunger Initiative, which has adopted 1K Churches as a pilot project in its drive to engage members in addressing root causes of poverty and affecting how they see their role in shaping the economy.

Our theory of change contains six foundational elements: cultural reframes, invitations to simple action, a base of leaders equipped for this work, design and demonstration of new possibilities, institutional structures to sustain leadership, and amplification of the work.

Criterion Institute, 501(c)(3) 81 Church Hill Rd · Haddam, CT 06438 860-345-3520 (main) · ©2023, all rights reserved.

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