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.  And 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 (mental health) and overseas (education for girls, water and sanitation and microfinance).  But following a strategic review in 2010 decided to focus sharply on:

  • Water and sanitation (WASH) in the developing world. The Foundation is recognised as the leading advocate of market based solutions in this sector.  Around 80% of funding is committed to water and sanitation. You can find out our more about our focus on water and sanitation and our grantees on the Water and sanitation homepage.
  • Mental health and youth programmes in the UK.