Peery Foundation: Global Development Grants

OVERVIEW: The Peery Foundation invests in market-based interventions to advance poverty alleviation and development efforts around the world. 

IP TAKE: The Peery Foundation seeks effective nonprofit teams that are experienced, committed, trustworthy, and exhibit exceptional entrepreneurial skills.

PROFILE: The Peery Foundation funds business-based approaches due to its commitment to providing unrestricted multi-year funding. Based in Palo Alto, California, Peery also has a small staff, which uses business-based solutions as a way, it believes, to safeguard good intentions. The foundation seeks to "strengthen youth and families to build lives of dignity and self-reliance. We invest in and serve social entrepreneurs and leading organizations along the San Francisco Peninsula and around the world." It invests in poverty alleviation.

Although five generations of the Peery family have called Palo Alto, California home, many have spent a collective six years living and traveling in developing countries. Inspired by time spent working on service projects for the vulnerable, the foundation established a Global Portfolio to address poverty issues around the world. According to Executive Director Jessamyn Lau, the foundation believes its "primary function is to support and serve the social entrepreneurs we work with. We try to keep our funding as flexible as possible." 

In the past, Global grantees have included the One Acre Fund, Living Goods, Samasource, and Vittana. Global funding is made in the form of one-time and multi-year unrestricted grants that range between $1,000 and $100,000 per year. For a more comprehensive idea of the types of organization's Peery funds, examine its global grantee list. 

To facilitate grantmaking to global organizations, the Peery family has also maintained a donor-advised fund for several years at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The Peery Foundation has listened closely to its grantees over the years and says it has used this feedback to shape a funding approach that elevates the views and needs of grantees to empower them. For instance, the foundation often provides multi-year general support grants because nonprofits have emphasized its need. Peery also says it seeks to communicate openly with grantees and solicit honest feedback. (See Dave Peery's 2013 article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, in which he describes grantees as "customers.") 

Peery is in tune with  global philanthropy, and is a member of Big Bang Philanthropy, a collaborative of like-minded funders who favor entrepreneurial approaches to reducing global poverty. In each of its grantmaking portfolios, the Peery Foundation is willing to take risks and acknowledges that not all results can be measured, but a promise of great impact is required.

PEOPLE:

  • Dave Peery, Managing Director
  • Jessamyn Lau, Executive Director
  • Jayson Morris, Social Entrepreneurship Portfolio Director

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