OVERVIEW: In 2010, after only five years in operation, the U.K.-based Stone Family Foundation decided that it was going to commit 80 percent of its global development funding to water, sanitation, and hygiene projects.
IP TAKE: The Stone Family Foundation takes a venture capitalist approach to philanthropy. As a result, it appreciates new, higher-risk water and sanitation projects, which could provide an excellent source of funding for WASH innovators.
PROFILE: John Stone sold his financial services business to establish the Stone Family Foundation with his wife, Vanessa, in 2005. After spending its early years backing a relatively large number of projects, the foundation’s board dedicated its funding 80 percent to its newly developed WASH Strategy, while dedicating the remaining 20 percent to adult mental health and disadvantaged youth projects. Stone seeks to raise its urban and rural WASH grants and investments in the future.
Stone currently focuses on WASH organizations operating in Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, but may support projects in sub-Saharan African and Southeast Asia. Grant amounts vary from about £150,000 to £1 million.
Stone’s global development tends to support large INGOs, such as WASH organizations like Water.org, WaterAid, and the Global Water Challenge. Stone does not accept unsolicited proposals. It does provide seed capital in addition to grants to organizations that have successfully piloted new water and sanitation projects, but which need additional funding to grow.
To secure a Stone Family Foundation grant, grantseekers must go through New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), which manages the foundation’s day-to-day operations and grantmaking.
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