Even though Silicon Valley real estate mogul, Richard “Dick” Peery, and his family have deep roots in Palo Alto, California, they’re well-traveled enough to have a global perspective on philanthropy. Peery’s global program is all about investing in market-based approaches to poverty, which create opportunities for youth and families around the world.
Related: Peery Foundation: Global Development
Admittedly, we love to see grantmakers that keep an open mind and that are willing to adapt to changing situations in volatile regions. However, it can be a little hard to figure out what Peery is actually looking for in a global grantee. We dug a little deeper to learn about current grantees and consider why they were picked for funding.
Fight for Peace (A Large Global Reach)
The Peery Foundation has provided funding to the Rio de Janeiro-based Fight for Peace since 2011. This non-governmental organization combines boxing, mixed martial arts, education, and personal development to help youth rise above neighborhood crime and violence. But as Fight for Peace spells out in its 2013 year-end report, this program extends far beyond the borders of Brazil. Its international presence grew considerably to train 56 community-based partner organizations from 21 countries reaching 65,334 youths in violent communities.
Sanergy (A Market-Based Approach)
Sanergy is a relatively new Peery grantee, based in Kenya and first receiving funding in 2013. Peery was attracted to Sanergy’s innovative systems-based approach to providing affordable and accessible sanitation in urban African slums. With Peery’s support, Sanergy has helped more than 200 informal settlement residents open and start sanitation businesses, creating over 490 jobs. By the numbers, Sanergy has provided 17,000 daily users with access to hygienic sanitation and 2,400 metric tons of waste have been safely removed from communities and treated.
Proximity Designs (Entrepreneurial Self-sustainability)
To help navigate the complicated world of global grantmaking, the Peery Foundation frequently teams up with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation through a donor-advised fund. One programmatic investment made through this fund went to Proximity Designs, a nonprofit social enterprise that helps build and market profitable services to help farm households in Myanmar become more productive, profitable, and self-sufficient. “Their primary product line is foot-operated irrigation pumps that help farmers grow high-value crops during the six months of the year when there is no rain,” Executive Director Jessamyn Lau said in an interview.
However, as Lau has pointed out, the type of organizations that Peery funds evolve over time as foundation priorities change. This means that some of the grantees in the current portfolio don't exactly reflect the foundation's current approach and grantmaking focus. We look forward to learning more about Peery's ever-changing strategies as more 2014 and 2015 grants roll out.