Stone Family Foundation
The Stone Family Foundation (or the Stone Foundation) is one of the largest international grant makers in the United Kingdom. It aims to supports innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable approaches to major social problems.
The foundation’s main focus has been on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Its goal is to help catalyse lasting and effective solutions to the lack of adequate sanitation, safe water and good hygiene across the world.
The foundation was set up by John Stone, a self-made British entrepreneur, following the sale of Lombard International Assurance, a life assurance firm for wealthy individuals. After netting £124m (€145m) from its sale to Friends Provident, John Stone and his family set up the Stone Family Foundation in 2005. The foundation’s trustees include family members and Coutts & Co.
The foundation has an endowment of GBP £47 million as of December 31, 2010 and takes strategic approach to its grant making. According to John Stone, “As thinkers from Aristotle to Andrew Carnegie have pointed out, it is harder to give money away intelligently than it is to earn it in the first place. In my case, it has taken me five years to scale up my philanthropy to be able to make significant grants. I wanted to be sure that my money would be put to the best possible use and have the biggest impact on those I chose to help. It does take time to give strategically in this way, but I believe it is better to proceed slowly and carefully, to ensure that philanthropic donations are committed wisely, which should bring more long-term benefit to society and, as others will be more inspired by seeing money well-spent, it should eventually result in bigger funding for charities.”
Over the past year, the Foundation has scaled up its giving. Its current target annual expenditure is £5 million.
The main focus area for the foundation is water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. To date, funding has been targeted at three countries—Tanzania, Zambia and Cambodia. The Foundation typically supports initiatives that are innovative and entrepreneurial and its current portfolio includes grants to:
The Stone Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Water
A recent focus for the foundation is the development of a new £100,000 prize in the water sector; the Stone Water Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The foundation is looking to identify and support new opportunities in the water sector that are innovative, entrepreneurial and potentially scalable.[dead link]
- Millennium Development Goals
- Social entrepreneurship
- Social enterprise
- Waste management
- Water and sanitation program
- Water supply
- Water supply and sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa
- Cathy Pharoah, Lynda Bryant (2012). Global grant-making: a review of UK foundations’ funding for international development (PDF). Nuffield Foundation. p. 63.
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