Our Story


John Stone

Founder and Chairman

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, an entrepreneur with a successful 40-year career in financial services, is the Chair of the Foundation.

The Foundation is proud to have an approach which is radically different to that of many other charities and foundations.

Inspired by John’s experience and expertise in the world of business and financial services, our vision is to be a pioneering, innovative and disruptive influence, constantly in search of new and better ways to solve entrenched problems.

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

  • Water to the home in Africa and Asia, with a specific focus on enterprises and the transformational role market-based solutions can play in this sector. Around 80% of our funding is committed to water
  • Two UK portfolios; mental health, and disadvantaged youth. Together, these portfolios account for roughly 20% of the Foundation’s funding.

Since 2005, we have committed over £72m and currently support over 70 organisations in Africa, Asia and the UK.

Our Approach
  • We provide funding, support and credibility to organisations capable of scaling and solving problems in new ways to accelerate positive social change.


  • We are an engaged funder – we like to align closely with entities we support and build lasting relationships, meaning we often support them for many years and with several rounds of funding.


  • We follow guiding principles – such as believing in the potential of entrepreneurship, and ensuring we focus on settings in which our approach is likely to have the greatest impact. But we are also flexible and aim to respond quickly to new opportunities.


  • Our strategies to achieve this are different in each portfolio. Find out more on each portfolio’s page.
Learn More
Our Impact to Date

Total funds disbursed since 2005


Impact investment commitments in water and sanitation


Number of organisations in current portfolios


Number of uses of mental health services in 2021


Number of water connections to households


Number of uses of disadvantaged youth services in 2021