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Leveraging Faith for Financial Impact: A Conversation with Tom Bassford

EquityVest’s Mission to Mobilize Faith-Based Investments For Social Good
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Devin: Tom, what do you see as your superpower?

Tom: I would say the superpower within me has been the ability to bridge and connect both those intangible things like the hereafter with the here and now.

In today’s episode of Superpowers for Good, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Bassford, the Co-Founder and CEO of EquityVest. Tom’s journey from a pastor to a pioneer in faith-based crowdfunding is a compelling story of combining mission-driven work with innovative financial solutions.

Tom shared that EquityVest’s mission is to connect faith-driven entrepreneurs with faith-driven investors, leveraging the passion and compassion found within the faith community to address poverty through business initiatives. His background as a pastor played a crucial role in shaping his vision. He recognized that while charitable efforts are essential, sustainable change requires empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty through business ventures.

One of the standout moments in our conversation was when Tom explained, “What if there was a way to mobilize that crowd to use some of the same passion and compassion through business-type things to help people lift themselves out of poverty?” This question encapsulates the transformative potential of EquityVest’s approach.

Tom highlighted several unique projects on EquityVest, including an alternative to Uber and Lyft that prioritizes driver welfare, a company creating affordable housing in partnership with urban congregations, and a streaming service for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Each project reflects EquityVest’s commitment to supporting businesses that generate financial returns and create positive social impact.

One particularly inspiring example was the story of a company that partners with Christian-based organizations in Nepal, India, and South Africa to provide gainful employment to women rescued from human trafficking. As Tom explained, “He wanted to create a supply chain and a distribution in the United States, but he wanted to work with some Christian-based organizations in Nepal, India, and South Africa that were working with women that they were rescuing out of human trafficking.”

This episode showcased the innovative ways in which EquityVest is using faith-based investments to solve real-world problems, demonstrating the power of combining business acumen with a mission for social good. Tom’s vision and EquityVest’s initiatives are truly inspiring examples of how financial tools can be used to create lasting positive change.


tl;dr:

1. Tom Bassford, CEO and founder of EquityVest, discussed the platform's mission to mobilize the faith-based community to invest in businesses that promote social good, create sustainable solutions, and lift people out of poverty.

2. EquityVest operates without a strict religious or business-type vetting process, allowing companies to highlight their faith-driven motivations and social impact goals to attract like-minded investors.

3. Bassford shared examples of current offerings on EquityVest, including a ridesharing alternative focused on driver welfare, a faith-based organization creating affordable housing on church land, and a streaming service for the deaf community.

4. EquityVest is unique in being owned by a not-for-profit, with start-up costs covered by program-related investments and donor-advised funds aimed at creating an economic engine for launching businesses without ongoing charitable support.

5. The platform encourages the faith-based community to integrate tangible actions with spiritual beliefs, promoting the idea that addressing physical and emotional needs is as important as the faith-driven message of salvation.


How to Develop Bridging Faith and Business As a Superpower

Tom’s superpower is his unique ability to connect the intangible aspects of faith with practical business solutions. This skill allows him to mobilize faith-driven communities to create sustainable, impactful change.

Tom exemplifies his superpower through the creation of EquityVest, a regulated crowdfunding portal owned by the non-profit Significant Matters. By leveraging program-related investments and donor-advised funds, EquityVest empowers faith-driven entrepreneurs and investors to support ventures that address poverty and other social issues. This initiative bridges the gap between charitable efforts and sustainable economic development, embodying Tom’s vision of integrating faith with practical solutions.

Tips for Developing This Superpower:

1. Embrace Both Spiritual and Practical Aspects: Recognize the importance of addressing both the spiritual needs and the tangible, everyday challenges people face.

2. Communicate a Balanced Vision: Clearly articulate how faith can inform practical actions that have real-world impacts.

3. Mobilize Community Resources: Leverage the passion and resources within your community to support sustainable projects that align with your mission.

4. Adopt the Golden Rule: Apply the principle of treating others as you would want to be treated in all your initiatives.

By following Tom’s example and advice, you can make bridging faith and business a skill. With practice and effort, you could make it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!


Guest Profile

Tom Bassford (he/him):

Co-Founder, CEO, EquityVest

About EquityVest: Regulation Crowdfunding Portal

Website: equityvest.org

X/Twitter Handle: @realequityvest 

Company Facebook Page: fb.com/profile.php?id=100093076426847

Other URL: significantmatters.com

Instagram Handle: @realequityvest 

Biographical Information: Tom Bassford is the co-founder and CEO of EquityVest, a Reg CF platform that sets itself apart by focusing on the faith-driven crowd. The platform aims to connect faith-driven founders and investors to support innovations that advance the world positively. It’s not just for the regular churchgoer but for anyone inclined towards value-driven investments. EquityVest’s unique approach to addressing societal issues and supporting marginalized communities is through a business IS mission mindset. 


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Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.