Eddy Moratin on investing in people, places, and partnerships

Eddy Moratin is the Executive Director of LIFT Orlando, a non-profit organization founded by business leaders to partner with neighborhood residents and accelerate community transformation. Its mission is to break the cycle of poverty through holistic neighborhood revitalization mixed-income housing, cradle to career education, wellness, and economic opportunity.

Insights & Inspirations

  • I’ve always straddled the intersection of business and community, the nonprofit or ministry space, and the for-profit investment world – Eddy Moratin
  • Today, whether it’s real estate or education or economic development, or social impact investing, it’s all about finding that sweet spot. That’s always easier said than done. It’s easier to live in the ruts on the edges, keeping balance in the middle, purpose, and profit and all those contradictory ideas in our culture. It really takes a lot of help from the Lord, an intentional purpose. – Eddy Moratin
  • I love how you brought things together, and I see you took faith and this, what we call, watching God work in people’s lives as front row seats to miracles, and we want fifty-yard line seats. – John Marsh
  • So much was the legacy of philanthropy and community investment for this family that Edward Cecil Guinness, the grandson of Arthur Guinness, on his wedding day, received a five million sterling pound get, which he then gave to charity, and took his new bride and moved into public tenement housing to draw awareness to the terrible conditions for the first year of their marriage.  – Eddy Moratin
  • We are so much shaped by the stories. It’s funny, we say, even in our building, we call the work we do “Emotional Architecture.” We say we start with stories, not structures – John Marsh
  • The shift was to look at where communities were moving the needle on the problem of concentrated chronic poverty. They had all understood the importance of place, and the metaphor that we stumbled upon was some of our nonprofits had managed to evolve from the whole giving a man a fish to teaching a man how to fish to not just giving housing, food, clothing, but starting to provide training and skills and development. – Eddy Moratin
  • That led us to discover the work of purpose, both communities, and Atlanta, and meeting with a mentor of mine, Robert Lupton, who has been doing inner-city revitalization work for many years, wrote the book, Toxic Charity. – Eddy Moratin
  •  “Could the business community, instead of leaving it all to these nonprofits, who are very important and necessary, but could business leaders play a bigger role in helping solve some of these complex social problems besides writing checks to charities?” – Eddy Moratin
  • We can do work to the glory of God. – John Marsh
  • Yeah. I’ll rattle off some ideas that have been helpful for us. One I’ll steal from Bob Lupton. It was one of the earliest thoughts that pierced our imagination was he said that he believed the missionaries of the future would be real estate developers. Our room, which is mostly made up of real estate developers and finance years and bankers and investors, we’re all laughing like nothing, and he was like, “I know. Most of you sit on the back pews on Sunday morning because your mind’s preoccupied with the deal you’re working on Monday, and before that deal’s even done, you’ve got two or three in the pipeline your mind’s working on, and this is your spiritual gift. You think it’s worldly. You think it’s the furthest thing from eternal matters, but it is actually the most essential tool in rebuilding what God’s kingdom should look like in this world.”- Eddy Moratin
  •  (our intentions are to) develop real estate, we say it’s sophisticated real estate development with Christ-centered care.- John Marsh
  • The next time I was with our joint venture partner for our first development, Columbia Residential, the CEO, who was African American, and he, Noel Khalil was his name, from Georgia. I said, “Noel, you’ve been doing this for 30 years. Surely you’ve run into that. What do you say?” And he laughed! He said, “Oh! You can mix incomes all day long. What you can never mix are values.” The values of wanting to live in a clean quiet beautiful community, of wanting your kids to be able to run around safely, of respecting your neighbor’s property. That transcends income levels. – Eddy Moratin
  • Meanwhile, we do a lot of investments in place. We invest in the buildings and the bricks and mortar that provide the physical ecosystem for families to thrive, and then philanthropy plays a big role in investment partnerships. Those three P’s for us are the matrix of our mission, of investing in people, investing in place, and investing in partnerships.- Eddy Moratin
  • I have a friend, here, a former CEO of Crossman Real Estate here in town, he’s white, but he would constantly state that he believed that the lack of people of color in senior leadership roles in real estate and true developers was a racial justice issue that he really believed because these are the folks designing most of our spaces for population vastly different than an industry that is 99.99%, white men. Women, alone, are very rare. – Eddy Moratin
  • Our founding fathers put together an economic and political system that literally invented what I think is one of the greatest inventions in history is mass upward mobility. We’ve taken wave upon wave of immigrant arrivals, most illiterate, and have created the wealthiest nation the world’s ever seen. – Eddy Moratin
  • Can we build America with the vision of being a shared community? A community that’s for everybody to be at the table. – Eddy Moratin
  • How can we love our community, and love is the different maker. – John Marsh
  • And God showed me he loves idiots. His plan works with idiots as the primary people He wants to use so no one could ever imagine that it was them. What I see is that God wants to come in again and give us a heart for our communities. – John Marsh
  • I say there are five investments people can make, five I’s. They can invest their income, their influence, their ideas, their intercession, or their implication. – John Marsh
  •  I’ve always believed the first leadership lesson is responsibility. – Eddy Moratin
  • We figure, people, places and products if they’re loved, they look different, and how do we go into communities where there’s been no love for so long and spread love?   – John Marsh
  • the first leadership lesson is responsibility. – Eddy Moratin
  •  Lift Orlando, we started because, honestly, we were just instigating other business leaders to realize you can’t sit back and watch. – Eddy Moratin
  • What can I do to show you I love you that I’m not currently doing? The number one thing. Now, I know you have ten. – John Marsh
  • My wife said I speak bumper sticker. I said, “Baby, that’s cause they stick.”- John Marsh

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