Looking Back on the Journey

It was May of 2012 when we began to use our blog to muse about why the Stewardship Foundation was founded, what we believe in, and it should matter to our investors and friends.

In 2009, some Christians gathered in New York City and drafted a declaration that became a “call of Christian Conscience” and we responded by mirroring their stated moral principles:

  • Sanctity of human life
  • Dignity of marriage as a union between husband and wife
  • Freedom of conscience and religion

With this as a basis, we wrote our Credo of Beliefs:

We believe… in transformational giving.

We believe… that giving is a collaborative act between the donor, the charity, and their God.

We believe… that transformational giving is not about the bottom line, but about the heart.

We believe… that transformational giving creates partnerships that impact entire communities.

We believe… in the sanctity of human life, marriage and sexual morality, and religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

We believe… that it is our responsibility to care for the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, and to use our talents for the betterment of mankind through education, opportunity and freedom.

In 2021, we stand firm to this Credo. No news story headline, political debate, popular media, or “woke conscience” can deter us from these beliefs because they are founded in Scripture. 

To read the original text, use either the Internet’s “wayback machine” (sites such as the Manhattan Declaration may be removed at any time), or the original archive here.

If you feel strongly, as we do, and you haven’t signed the Declaration yet, you can still sign it here.

This journey of financial stewardship involves a process of understanding, acknowledging, accepting, and acting with awareness and intent. We are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with you on this journey.

How Apple Killed the App

The Stewardship Foundations’ credo is defined in the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience first written in 2009. It was a popular movement among Christians of all faiths. There was even an app on iTunes so people could sign their agreement to its principles.

So here we are, ten years later, living in a society where our young people consider same-sex marriage and abortion as simply individual “choices without consequences” even while they continue to believe in God, attend Church with their family, and pin “prayer hands” emoticons on chat apps and Facebook.

The Declaration itself always suffered the expected criticism from left-leaning media pundits and non-believers, but no one would have thought that the giants in technology would suppress its message of hope, faith, and charity. 

To allow its message to be heard and to gain more signatures, the Manhattan Declaration designed and placed an app on Apple’s iTunes store.

Shortly thereafter, in November 2010, Apple received 7,000 signatures arguing that the app was homophobic and offensive. Apple removed the app, saying that it “violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” Within a month, more than 45,000 had signed a counter-petition to have the app reinstated. Regardless, it remains invisible on the web.

Has political correctness gone too far? Is it stifling our rights to express our faith and beliefs? It appears so. But not at the Stewardship Foundation.

The Great Gatsby

green lightRecently I saw the new release of the movie The Great Gatsby, which is based on the novel written by my favorite literary author, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Many literary critics believe that Fitzgerald best captured the spirit of the roaring twenties and defining the hopes associated with the American Dream.

In the last line of the book, narrator Nick says: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter— tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… and one fine morning… so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Did you notice how Fitzgerald leaves Nick’s thoughts unfinished? Perhaps because his narrator knew that Gatsby would have remained ceaselessly engaged in being carried back to the past – so what was the use of looking forward and planning for the future?

The non-profits and charities that we support can’t survive in a world of Gatsbys – they need supporters who believe wholeheartedly in their cause to “run faster” and “stretch their arms farther” with volunteerism and charitable donations. These supporters live the true American Dream, they make America a better place. Knowing that it’s not beyond their reach to make a difference, they give of themselves and their money and are happy to do it.

Gatsby had a romantic idea of happiness that ceaselessly brought him back to the past. Research in psychology has examined how giving affects people’s emotional well-being and determined that helping others leads to positive emotions such as warmth and happiness. If only Gatsby had known that the elusive Daisy (represented by the green light) would never have brought him the happiness that helping others could have. If only Gatsby had spent less time with a room full of interesting people, and more time with the Stewardship Foundation.

Admittedly, we too at the Stewardship Foundation have romantic ideas. We want to help make the world a better place by supporting transformational giving based on a set of moral values set out in the Manhattan Declaration. But unlike Gatsby, we stretch out our arms everyday and run harder to help our clients discover true happiness that comes from helping causes that are aligned with a moral compass.

If you have non-cash assets like property or valuables and would like to learn how you can use those assets to do good in your lifetime, please contact us. No beating against the current here – just moving forward to what defines us as Americans. Call us at (614) 800-7985.