NPC worked with the Stone family through the early stages of their giving journey, and we now advise the foundation on a day-to-day basis.
Stone Family Foundation
After making the decision to give away the bulk of their wealth in their lifetime, the Stone family sought expert advice from NPC to help them get started.
They were aware of the causes they cared about, but needed help to narrow their focus. They also faced practical challenges when it came to identifying effective charities to fund, and advise on the day-to-day running of a foundation.
NPC helped to narrow the foundation’s focus to three key areas based on the family’s interests: water and sanitation in Africa and Asia, mental health in the UK and disadvantaged youth in the UK.
We helped the Stones identify and learn about charities working in these areas, ran workshops to explore the world of international development, introduced the family to experts in the field and built a portfolio of potential grantees for them to visit with a view to funding.
We continue to work closely with the Stone family to run the foundation on a day-to-day basis, finding and recommending the most effective charities working in their focus areas and making, managing and monitoring the foundation’s grants. This has led to a significant scaling-up of the foundation’s work—from a handful of grantees in 2006 to over 25 carefully selected grantees today.
The family remain hands-on, visiting charities before making funding decisions and working continuously with NPC to think about new ways to give effectively. As the Stone family’s giving has progressed, the foundation increasingly focuses on innovative approaches offering long-term, sustainable solutions to water and sanitation problems.
John Stone, Founder and Beacon Award Winner commented: ‘The advice that I have received from Coutts Bank Philanthropy Service and New Philanthropy Capital has been absolutely invaluable in terms of establishing the Foundation, helping us find the right path and making sure that we avoid the pitfalls that can trap the well-intentioned, unwary philanthropist. And achieve the maximum possible impact from our grants.’
The Stone Family Foundation currently spends around £5m, making it one of the largest UK-based international grant-makers. It has an ambitious but achievable mission: to find and support lasting and effective ways to promote good sanitation, safe water and good hygiene across the world.
In 2012, NPC launched a £100,000 Prize for the foundation. The prize was developed to identify and support early stage initiatives in the water sector. NPC managed the prize-giving process, from developing criteria, to sifting over 170 applications from approximately 40 countries, to convening an expert panel to choose the winners and co-ordinating publicity and communications. The 2012 Prize winner is Dispensers for Safe Water for its innovative Chlorine Dispenser System, enabling rural communities in Kenya to access clean drinking water.