About Us

The Stone Family Foundation was established in 2005 by John Stone and his wife, Vanessa, following the sale of the business which he founded in 1991.

John is an entrepreneur with a successful 40-year career in financial services. He is the Chairman of the board of the Foundation.

The Foundation shares the same fundamental aim as most charities, which is to help people out of poverty.

However, our approach is radically different. As a venture philanthropist, John brings a more business-like approach to a sector which is generally rather unbusiness-like. Our vision is to be a pioneering, innovative and a disruptive influence, constantly in search of new and better ways to solve entrenched problems.

In the early years, the Foundation funded a range of projects in the UK and overseas (mental health, education for girls, water and sanitation and microfinance), but following a strategic review in 2010 decided to focus sharply on:

Water and sanitation in the developing world. The Foundation is one of the leading advocates of market-based solutions in this sector. Around 80% of funding is committed to water and sanitation.

UK portfolios focused on mental health and disadvantaged youth. These portfolios are smaller, making up 20% of the Foundation’s funding, and have a different strategy to our work in water and sanitation.

Below is a webinar with John Stone and Clare Anderson (Portfolio Director and Team Head at Cazenove Capital) from November 2020. Clare interviews John on setting up the Foundation and his journey in venture philanthropy.