Active Philanthropy helps you to make the world a better place.
We support you on your journey as a philanthropist or social investor.
we can make
Dr. Felicitas von Peter, Founder and Managing Partner, Active Philanthropy “We want to inspire, inform and connect people who want to have an impact with their philanthropy or social investing.”
focuses on you.
people, who want to
make a difference.
We would like to introduce some of the donors and social investors that for us are examples of “active philanthropists”, portrayed in our publication “Changemakers”
Jamie Cooper-Hohn wants to improve the lives of children in developing countries – measurably. She works with data, correlations and charts, just like a financial analyst.
Stephen Dawson is bringing venture capital to Africa and believes that this the best form of development cooperation.
DR. AREND OETKER
Dr. Arend Oetker wants to encourage businesses, the state and private donors to do good.
NIKLAS UND CATHERINE ZENNSTRÖM
Niklas Zennström founded the Voice-over-IP company Skype. Today, he and his wife Catherine invest millions in environmental protection and human rights.
Dr. Inga Michler, business reporter at the WELT group, presents portraits of inspirational individuals from seven European countries.
If you are interested in additional portraits, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the change I want to see happen?
What can I personally do to make a difference?
How do I invest the resources I have most effectively?
Which issue could inspire you?
Homeless children in inner-city Frankfurt, former convicts in the UK, training courses for teachers in your home town, or saving orang-utans in the rainforests of Borneo? Think about what you are or could be passionate about. It’s worth it!
We’ll help you.
We work with leading business families in Europe. They expect their money to do more than sit in the bank and increase in value. And they don’t want to just give it away. They want to make a difference – strategically and sustainably. That is why they become active philanthropists and social investors, who give with their heads, their hearts and their hands. We want to help them to achieve the maximum environmental and social impact with their investments.
Individuals and business families throughout Europe who want to invest their resources strategically and sustainably for the good of society find a safe space at Active Philanthropy. Here they can find tools and best practices, network and learn from each other.
Active Philanthropy stands for a new culture of giving. This culture is characterised by giving with head, heart and hands. Whether the issue closest to your heart is poverty, education, climate change or something else, our expeditions, workshops, roundtables and publications help you develop an understanding of complex issues and what you can do as a philanthropist or social investor.
Money is not the only resource that can make an impact, and in many cases it is not the most important one. Professional experience, contacts and passion for an issue can be much more important to make a change. We summarize your potential contributions with the five Ts: Time (that you invest in a cause), Talent (the skills that you can add), Treasure (the financial contribution), Trust (the confidence you give) and Ties (the network that you bring).
Active Philanthropy is a charitable platform that is financed by private donations from a number of families in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium. This guarantees our complete independence from banks, investment advisers or non-governmental organisations. Our only obligation is to the donors and social investors who use our platform. We want to help them to achieve the maximum environmental and social impact with their investments. Their money can and should have a purpose – not least for the donors themselves.
You may find the link to our flyer here.
For many years, Felicitas von Peter has been interested how people with resources (money, ideas and networks) can help to make the world a better place. In 2006 she founded the independent platform Active Philanthropy to bring together business families from all over Europe and help them to develop and implement projects for the common good. Before establishing Active Philanthropy, Felicitas von Peter spent seven years with the Bertelsmann Foundation, where she co-chaired the international project “The Philanthropy Workshop”, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, from 2002 to 2006. This project helped donors worldwide to better leverage their resources. From 1998 to 2002 she ran the Bertelsmann Foundation’s international media and education projects, and supervised the set up of the foundation’s office in New York.
Felicitas von Peter read history, political science and philosophy at the Universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, Paris and Cambridge (UK). She is a member of the advisory board of the charity Children for a better World e.V. and member of the advisory board of the API Kinder- und Jugendstiftung and the Borderland Foundation (Sejny, Poland).
In 2010 Felicitas von Peter was nominated a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. Felicitas von Peter is also Managing Director of Beyond Philanthropy.
Michael Alberg-Seberich is passionate about all matters related to donating and social investing. For him, an empathetic and strategic approach to one’s charitable engagement is crucial, whether the giving comes from an individual or a business.
From 2001 to 2007, Michael Alberg-Seberich worked at the Bertelsmann Foundation, where he originally led its international projects promoting democracy, human rights and tolerance. In 2005/6 he worked as a facilitator and strategy consultant for the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation. In 2006/7 he was responsible for the Carl Bertelsmann Prize for “Civic Engagement as a Goal of Education”. Michael Alberg-Seberich began his career as an intercultural coach and program head for the Deutsche Youth For Understanding Kommittee e.V. (YFU) in Hamburg.
Michael Alberg-Seberich studied North American Studies with a focus on Anthropology in Bonn and Vancouver. He is a trained communications instructor, facilitator and mediator. He was for a long time on the board of Deutsche Youth For Understanding Kommitee e.V., and since 2008 is a member of the supervisory board of the foundation Schüler helfen Leben. Since 2012 Michael Alberg-Seberich has also been a member of the board of trustees of the Transparency Deutschland Foundation. In 2014 he joined the board of the Deutsche Youth For Understanding Foundation and since 2016 Michael has been on the board of goetzpartners Foundation. In his free time he likes to go cycling and kayaking with his family. Michael Alberg-Seberich is also Managing Director of Beyond Philanthropy.
Vera Janke joined Active Philanthropy in March 2017. As the personal assistant to the managing partners, Vera supports particularly Felicitas von Peter in her goal to connect business families who want to make maximum impact with their donations and social investments.
Previously Vera Janke lived in London and worked in the arts sector. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden she coordinated the First Stage Work Experience programme that offers placements in various theatre professions for over 160 participants per year. From 2010 – 2016 she was also part of the Visitor Experience team at the Royal Opera House. Concurrently Vera produced her own shows for StoneCrabs Theatre Company at London and Edinburgh Fringe and supported the company’s Young Directors programme.
Vera Janke holds a degree in Publishing and a MA in Arts Management.
Gabriele has been with Active Philanthropy from shortly after its beginning. She supported Felicitas von Peter in bringing together business families from all over Europe and in developing formats such as the Greenland expeditions or seminars on a variety of topics. She was also in charge of setting up the Active Library, a knowledge platform on philanthropy and social investment.
Furthermore Gabriele has led research processes and co-authored reports and articles on various sectors, including topics like non-profit funding for journalism, the benefit of youth advisory councils, succession planning in family-led foundations and family philanthropy.
Before joining Active Philanthropy, Gabriele was with the Bertelsmann Foundation for seven years, where she ran the foundation’s donor programs together with Felicitas von Peter. She also worked on the first national study on German donors (“Stiften in Deutschland”) and on a new platform aiming at connecting foundations and NGO’s in the area of youth. Gabriele also has experience in the private sector where she worked for different customer relationship programs managed by the Bertelsmann Corporation.
Gabriele studied Business Administration at Worms University of Applied Sciences and graduated as an Industrial Management Assistant at Bertelsmann. She co-authored articles in industry books and magazines such as “Stiftung & Sponsoring”.
Kerstin looks back on almost 20 years of professional experience in the areas of communication and major gift fundraising. Before working for Active and Beyond Philanthropy, Kerstin took care of public relations and fundraising at the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss. She began her professional career at the Bertelsmann Foundation and became a Development & Outreach Manager with Human Rights Watch in Berlin, via positions at the publishing houses Random House and Editorial Anagrama in Barcelona.
Kerstin studied Modern Languages at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The career combined English studies, business administration and Spanish studies. She graduated as a qualified business anglicist (Diplom-Wirtschaftsanglistin).
Sarah Kimmerle, a current Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, is a nonprofit professional dedicated to creating new administration and funding models. In addition to her burgeoning German, Sarah has a decade of experience working in American museums and cultural organizations.
Sarah got her start in New York where she developed The New York Public Libary’s first online fundraising campaign. After moving to San Francisco in late 2010, she began working on various community engagement and funding models at the Oakland Museum of California and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In addition, she managed the Google Art Project for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and conducted visitor research that influenced new exhibition design at the Exploratorium.
Sarah received a Masters in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University and has served on the boards of both the American Alliance of Museum‘s Emerging Professionals as well as the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
Here please meet the team of Beyond Philanthropy, our specialized consultancy which helps businesses, foundations and individuals to maximise the impact of their philanthropic activities.
Active Philanthropy is financed
from a number of families
from Germany, Switzerland,
Austria and Belgium.
Some of our active supporters
are listed below.
Others prefer to remain anonymous.
Imme Adler runs the API Kinder- und Jugendstiftung, which she founded with her parents. She has been a trustee of Active Philanthropy since it was established.
Stefan Sanktjohanser is co-founder and managing partner of goetzpartners, a leading independent European advisory firm based in Munich. He has been a trustee of Active Philanthropy since it was established.
Dr. Stephan Goetz is co-founder and managing partner of goetzpartners, a leading independent European advisory firm based in Munich. He has been a trustee of Active Philanthropy since its inception.
Jutta Freifrau von Falkenhausen is a lawyer with her own practice in Berlin. She has supported Active Philanthropy as an expert and active donor for several years.
Active Philanthropy and the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt share the vision of a strategic, engaged culture of giving in Europe. We are therefore particularly grateful for the support of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, which has supported our work since 2012.
Our mentors give access to a network of peers
and allow an in-depth exchange of experiences.
Our peer-to-peer network connects family members interested in philanthropy or social investing in a safe space. Our mentors, all active as philanthropists or social investors, are happy to share their experiences directly with others.
You can find some of the mentors and coaches here; additional contacts are available on request.
Since founding the API Kinder- und Jugendstiftung (API Child and Youth Foundation), Imme Adler has learnt a lot about how to find and support good projects – not only with money, but with personal commitment and passion for the cause.
Marij has focused on impact investing and social entrepreneurship for many years and is happy to pass on her experience as an impact investor to other Next Gens. She is also passionate about helping other Next Gens finding their own path by sharing her experience with a wide range of personal development programs.
In the last five years Friederike has gained considerable experience in sustainable investing. She is very happy to talk about her experiences to Next Gens who are interested in investing money in a way that aligns with their personal values. Friederike also has experience of establishing a foundation and selecting appropriate projects for it.
Jutta Freifrau von Falkenhausen, a donor and lawyer with her own legal practice in Berlin, is an expert in German foundation and company law, among others. She also has wide-ranging experience as a patron of charitable organisations, including the National Youth Orchestra of Germany (Bundesjugendorchester) and United World Colleges.
If you are interested in talking to one of our mentors, feel free to contact us any time.
IS MEMBER OF THE FOLLOWING ASSOCIATIONS
We see ourselves as a network of networks.
This allows us to offer donors a wide range of resources and numerous contacts while remaining a small, flexible organization.
By us and About us.
ARTICLES ABOUT US (selection)
6 Questions to ask before planning a philanthropic trip
in: Philanthropy INDABA Blog, February 2010.
Philanthropy UK’s Quick Guide to Philanthropy Advisors
in: Philanthropy UK Supplement, September 2009.
ARTICLES FROM US (selection)
Shall we Dance: Government and Philanthropy
in: Philanthropic Foundations Canada, 31 Mai 2016
EVPA conference 2014: which wall to tear down next?
in: Alliance Magazine blog, 28 November 2014 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).
Michael Alberg-Seberich and Gabriele Störmann:
How to learn to give? A global question with local answers.
in: Alliance Magazine, December 2013, p. 53 – 58 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine)
You can find the original article here:
More informations about Alliance Magazine you can find here:
Working with Young Donors in Europe: What’s next for next gens?
in: Alliance Magazine, December 2013, p. 48 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine)
You can find the original article here:
More informations about Alliance Magazine you can find here:
Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Philanthropy in Germany
in: Philanthropy Impact Magazine, Issue 1: Spring 2013, p. 11
The Business of Giving: The theory and practice of philanthropy, grantmaking and social investment (book review)
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 17, nr. 2, June 2012, p. 62 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).
Give Smart – Philanthropy That Gets Results (review)
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 16 Nr. 2, June 2011, p. 62 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).
The future of giving is with ‘little Hans’
in: Philanthropy UK Quarterly, nr. 42, Autumn 2010, p. 24 et seq.
Felicitas von Peter:
Case Study: Designing Philanthropy
in: Philanthropy UK Newsletter, June 2010
Euro View: Trust is still the currency of giving
in: Philanthropy UK Newsletter, March 2010, p. 23 et seq.
in: International Encyclopaedia of Civil Society, Springer Science+Business Media, November 2009.
Private Equity Foundation, UK and Germany (case study)
in: Documentation of the event Responsible Leadership in Times of Change performed by Banque de Luxembourg, Oktober 2009, p. 26, full case study at the website of Webpage des Alliance Magazine (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).
Felicitas von Peter and Michael Alberg-Seberich:
in: European Guide to Giving, Philanthropy UK und Visa Europe, December 2008.
Felicitas von Peter and Michael Alberg-Seberich:
The Billionaire who wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney secretley made and gave away a fortune (book review)
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 13 nr. 1, April 2008, p. 54. (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).
Felicitas von Peter:
Active Philanthropy – giving with impact and having fun
in: Private Wealth Management 2008, p. 57.
What is “Active Philanthropy”?
“Active Philanthropy” is a form of philanthropic engagement which is not limited to giving financial support, but also encompasses an active role in achieving a particular goal. So a donor might, for example, use his professional experience to help an organisation draw up its business plan, or provide both advice and practical support in other matters.
At whom are Active Philanthropy’s services directed?
The target group is primarily individuals and families, but also institutions, who want to use their resources in a strategic and sustainable fashion for good causes. We direct our services at donors in Germany and Europe in general.
How does Active Philanthropy help donors?
Active Philanthropy offers donors a platform to exchange ideas and experiences. With our workshops, expeditions and information packs we aim to make people aware of the idea of strategic philanthropy and generate enthusiasm for it.
Who is behind Active Philanthropy?
We are a charitable company (gGmbH). Our work is made possible by the support of several families of entrepreneurs who are themselves involved in philanthropic work. They support Active Philanthropy both financially and with advice and practical help. You can find some of our supporters here.
How does Active Philanthropy set itself apart from other providers of “Foundation support services”?
Active Philanthropy sets itself apart from these providers through its focus on questions of content and strategy – that is, the questions that are at the heart of philanthropic engagement. Furthermore we are high-profile industry players in Europe who stand for a new, active and entrepreneurial culture of philanthropy.
Can Active Philanthropy help charitable organisations with fundraising – by passing on information to potential donors, for example?
Unfortunately we cannot help organisations with their fundraising activities, as this would go against our role as a neutral institution and contravene our stated charitable aim.
Does Active Philanthropy provide financial support?
No, Active Philanthropy does not provide financial support.
As a charitable organisation we are dependent on financial support from donors. Can we give Active Philanthropy information about our work and projects? And what would Active Philanthropy do with that information?
When we recommend projects to our clients to be supported we stay with organisations that are already known to us or which have been recommended through our network of whose quality we are certain.
Charitable organisations with which we are not familiar are nevertheless very welcome to send us information about their work. In the event that there are points of contact between the work of such an organisation and ours and certain qualitative standards are met, we will happily make contact.
provide access to a
network of donors
and social investors
from all around the world.
We are extremely grateful to award winning film maker Eskil Hardt and Ace&Ace for their support in producing this video.
Our workshops facilitate an
open and confidential exchange
between participants within
a safe space.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any further questions and comments about out activities.
Our expeditions create
joint experiences and deep personal
By way of example, we have travelled to Greenland, to Botswana and to the Amazon in order to gain experience of, and learn about issues such as climate change and biodiversity. During our journeys we combine unique experiences like dog-sled tours over several days or hikes in the rainforest accompanied by indigenous forest dwellers with workshops run by world-leading scientists and experts. Our expeditions are aimed at entrepreneurs, family members and those interested in philanthropy or social investing: people who want to make a difference and who ask themselves where their resources can be best invested.
"The journey moved me deeply and raised a lot of new questions about the relationship between man and nature. The format is very special: the small group, the dialogue between generations, the strong rapport between scientists and participants. It guarantees that you really do learn a lot." (Dr. Arend Oetker)
"For me, it has been one of the most powerful trips I have made in my life. I have learned a lot, and the program has been just fantastic." (Elsa Bonnier)
"It has been an extraordinary experience. Greenland is the perfect place to withness the overwhelming power of nature and the importance of succeeding in one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced. Scientific knowledge, dialogues, fun and emotions have made the expedition one of the most valuable trips of my life." (Angela Morelli)
Where our expeditions have taken us:
10 expeditions to Greenland, 2008 - 2016
Greenland alumni meeting, Iceland, 2012
Expedition to Botswana 2011
Expedition to the Amazon 2010
Where do you want to go? What issue would you like to explore on an expedition? For questions and suggestions, please contact us.
Our next expedition to Greenland will take place in April 2018. Would you like to join or wish further information? Please contact Felicitas von Peter (E: email@example.com; T: +49 30 240 88 240).
Our Communities provide a safe space
for people with similar interests to meet
Are you from a family involved in philanthropy? Or are you driven to make the world a better place? Are you part of the Next Generation and want the chance to make your ideas reality, and talk about the issues that matter to you with likeminded people?
Active dialogue and shared discovery are at the heart of the Active Philanthropy Communities: current philanthropists and social investors and those looking to join their ranks swap stories of their own projects and experiences. Specially-chosen outside experts sometimes come to report on exciting developments and new initiatives. Active Philanthropy is responsible for the organisation and supervision of the Communities and their participants.
Within the Communities we work with various formats and methods. In-person meetings and workshops enable discussion and provide a forum for sharing personal experiences. Site visits to charitable organisations and social businesses demonstrate how innovative approaches and business models are attempting to solve societal problems. Events and webinars provide access to our broad network of experts. On request, we are happy to put you in contact with specific family members who can mentor you along your way: our mentors.
Community: Social Investing
How can I invest my money so that it achieves a positive social, ecological or ethical impact in addition to generating a financial return? How do I find interesting investments, and how to I evaluate them? We work with other investors and leading experts to identify the levers which help you to deploy your capital in line with your values. Learn from other participants‘experiences and find the answers to your own questions.
Community: Personal Growth & Responsible Ownership
Active Philanthropy’s Responsible Ownership Community focuses in particular on encouraging the Next Generation to find the issue that they are passionate about and that inspires them to act. This involves tackling very personal questions: what purpose can I give my wealth? What are my personal beliefs and how do they influence me – and how can I change them? What’s getting in the way of me doing something? What is the single most important issue for me – what is it that grabs me and won’t let go? Through our work we want to reinforce your decision to use your time, expertise and money as best you can. The world offers tremendous opportunities to make it a little bit better – take them!
In the Sustainability Community the focus above all else is on climate change and its drastic consequences for nature and the human race. What needs to be done – or, better, what must we know and do – to prevent these changes? What possible solutions, political decisions, technological advances and scientific discoveries are there in the field? How can we take advantage of the enormous potential for innovation that these issues bring with them? And how can I integrate this knowledge into my daily life, my business and my investments in a meaningful way?
Soon, we will present you more information about our upcoming workshop.
WHERE TO GO?
The Active Philanthropy Map is a guide to your own journey as a donor. At each colourfully-illustrated station, examples and tips for effective charitable engagement are laid out.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Reports give an overview of various topics.
HOW CAN I GIVE EFFECTIVELY?
Our handbooks describe how donors discover the issue closest to their hearts and where their resources can achieve the biggest impact.
WHO GIVES ADVICE?
Here you can find additional contacts and links relating to charitable giving and social investment.
WHO INSPIRES ME?
We introduce some of the donors we have worked with who could be an inspiration to others.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT ENGAGEMENT FOR ME?
The worksheets include, among others, donation plans that you can use to note down your contributions throughout the year and thereby keep track of your donations.
DO GOOD THROUGH INVESTMENT?
Under the banner of social investment/social impact investing you can find out more about how financial investments can achieve social aims.
Click here to visit our Active Library.
Our partner organisation Beyond Philanthropy is a specialized consultancy which helps businesses, foundations and individuals to maximise the impact of their philanthropic activities. We support our clients with tailored services spanning strategy consulting, project management and research. Using our team and expert network, to date Beyond Philanthropy has successfully cooperated with more than 50 clients on projects in over 30 countries, addressing themes such as children and young people, sustainable development and democracy and human rights. Beyond Philanthropy is a “social business”, since all generated profits are donated to Active Philanthropy.
Phone: +49(0)30 240 88 240
Fax: +49(0)30 240 88 24 10
Andrea Riebe and Raik Lüttke
Frank Winter and Manuel Thieme
We thank think-cell for showing us the way to smarter presentation www.think-cell.com. The think-cell presentation suite serves a single purpose – creating business presentations and professional charts such as Waterfalls, Marimekkos and Gantts within a few minutes. It is a complete set of cutting-edge productivity tools. These range from business charts to layout tools with agenda-building capabilities that make creating and maintaining agendas in PowerPoint as simple as an automatic table of contents in other word processors.
HR Berlin 105261 B
Managing Director with single signing authority: Felicitas von Peter
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Tax number: 27/603/53001
Approval of charitable status by assessment of the tax office Berlin from June 6th, 2009.
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