PERSPECTIVE3-5 min to read

Webinar: John Stone on practical examples of venture philanthropy

The Stone Family Foundation, which specialises in providing water and sanitation to communities in need, is at the forefront of innovative financial solutions termed “venture philanthropy”. Founder John Stone explains what it is and why it’s so effective.



Clare Anderson
UK Head Schroders Family Office Service

Entrepreneur John Stone founded and built Lombard International Assurance, which by the early 2000s was hugely successful and operating across Europe. He sold it to Friends Provident in 2004.

“We ended up with far more wealth than we’d ever expected or needed,” he says, recorded here in a live webcast to Cazenove Capital clients and friends.

As a result, with his late wife Vanessa he established the Stone Family Foundation, beginning what he’s described as an “eye-opening adventure”: the long process of identifying causes, building programmes, and delivering positive outcomes for individuals and communities around the world.

Over time John developed a distinct – even radical – approach to delivering long-term, sustainable outcomes.


Courtesy of the Stone Family Foundation

He describes this approach as “bringing business-like practices” to the world of philanthropy, and he’s been quoted in the Press as saying he wants to “run giving like a business”.

The approach – which involves moving away from traditional grant-making and instead investing in local social enterprises at the front line – is what is now termed “venture philanthropy”.

In the recording John explains what it means in practice, and provides some detailed case studies.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.


Clare Anderson
UK Head Schroders Family Office Service



The value of your investments and the income received from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested.