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
a difference. 

Greenland, May 2008

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.”

Our work
focuses on you.

people, who want to
make a difference. 

Amazonas, 2010


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 wants to encourage businesses, the state and private donors to do good.


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

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? 

Greenland, May 2008


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.




Greenland, 2009


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.


Tanzania, 2013




Sarah Kimmerle
Director of Strategic Development


Karolin Geike


Senior Consultant


Portait of Kerstin Ischen

Kerstin Ischen


Janek Steitz


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
by donations
from a number of families
from Germany, Switzerland,
Austria and Belgium.
Some of our active supporters
are listed below.

 Others prefer to remain anonymous.

Greenland, September 2008



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
(Berlin, Germany)

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.

Botswana, 2011


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.

(Hamburg, Germany)

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. 

(Brussels, Belgium)

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. 

(BERLIN, Germany)

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.

Active Philanthropy


BENIN, 2014


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.

Greenland, 2014

Active in the Press


Maryann Fernandez:
6 Questions to ask before planning a philanthropic trip
in: Philanthropy INDABA Blog, February 2010.

Andrew Milner:
The Game of the Name
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 14 nr. 4, December 2009, p. 49 – 53 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Philanthropy UK’s Quick Guide to Philanthropy Advisors
in: Philanthropy UK Supplement, September 2009.

ARTICLES FROM US (selection)

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Shall we Dance: Government and Philanthropy
in: Philanthropic Foundations Canada, 31 Mai 2016

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
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:

Lea Buck:
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:

Michael Alberg-Seberich und Gabriele Störmann:
From beneficiaries to decision-makers.
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 18, nr. 2, June 2013, p. 24 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Philanthropy in Germany
in: Philanthropy Impact Magazine, Issue 1: Spring 2013, p. 11

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
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).

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Give Smart – Philanthropy That Gets Results (review)
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 16 Nr. 2, June 2011, p. 62 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
The future of giving is with ‘little Hans’
in: Philanthropy UK Quarterly, nr. 42, Autumn 2010, p. 24 et seq.

Felicitas von Peter:
A profession in search of standards
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 15 nr. 3, September 2010, p. 28 – 30 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Felicitas von Peter, Jessie Cutts:
No bad philanthropy?
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 15 nr. 3, September 2010, p. 38 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Felicitas von Peter:
Case Study: Designing Philanthropy
in: Philanthropy UK Newsletter, June 2010

Felicitas von Peter, Michael Alberg-Seberich:
What is success for a philanthropy adviser?
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 15, nr. 2, June 2010, p. 17 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Euro View: Trust is still the currency of giving
in: Philanthropy UK Newsletter, March 2010, p. 23 et seq.

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Corporate Foundations
in: International Encyclopaedia of Civil Society, Springer Science+Business Media, November 2009.

Michael Alberg-Seberich:
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).

Michael Alberg-Seberich and Aletta von Meibom:
Chocolate Eggs for Swiss nuns?
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 14 nr. 1, March 2009, p. 41 – 42 (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Felicitas von Peter and Michael Alberg-Seberich: 
Engaged Philanthropy
in: European Guide to Giving, Philanthropy UK und Visa Europe, December 2008.

Michael Alberg-Seberich and Leslie Reed:
Stronger together? An evaluation of ILDE
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 13 nr. 3, September 2008, p. 24 – 25. (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

Felicitas von Peter and Michael Alberg-Seberich:
Philanthropy’s go-betweens
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 13 nr. 2, June 2008, p. 32 – 33. (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).

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.

Felicitas von Peter:
Following the “Gates Approach”
in: Alliance Magazine, vol. 12 nr. 1, March 2007, p. 46 – 47. (by courtesy of Alliance Magazine).



Copenhagen, 2014


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.

Our events,
workshops and
provide access to a
network of donors
and social investors
from all around the world.

Iceland, 2012

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.

TANzANIA, 2013



Field Sessions are short expeditions that help you become a more effective donor or investor. We'll take to the streets and learn by doing – together with experienced peers, veteran social entrepreneurs, and social startups that are ready to re-invent the world. Get your hands dirty and experience social change up-close.

Field Session III

100% Impact: How to make change at every level
October/November, Zurich

Further information concerning our field sessions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of any further questions and comments about out activities.


Our next expedition to Greenland will take place in April 2019. If you would like to join or need furhter information, please email Felicitas von Peter (vonpeter(at) oder or call us (+49 30 240 88 240).

Our expeditions create
joint experiences and deep personal
learning opportunities.

Iceland, 2012


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.

Participants’ testimonials:

"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 upcoming expeditions


The Active Community provides a safe space
for people with similar interests to meet

Amazonas, 2010


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. During our expeditions specially-chosen outside experts come to report on exciting developments and new initiatives.

We are happy to keep you informed about our activities. Please send us an email to Sarah Kimmerle (kimmerle @ or call +49 30 240 88 240.


Our handbooks, studies
and reports support you
in your daily work.

Amazonas, 2010

Active Library

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. 

Reports give an overview of various topics. 

Our handbooks describe how donors discover the issue closest to their hearts and where their resources can achieve the biggest impact.  

Here you can find additional contacts and links relating to charitable giving and social investment. 

We introduce some of the donors we have worked with who could be an inspiration to others. 

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. 

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.

Beyond Philanthropy

Botswana, 2011

Beyond Philanthropy

Beyond Philanthropy
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.

Berlin, 2009


Forum for Active Philanthropy – inform inspire impact gGmbH
Monbijouplatz 2
10178 Berlin

Phone: +49(0)30 240 88 240
Fax: +49(0)30 240 88 24 10


Imprint | Data Protection

HR Berlin 105261 B
Managing Director with single signing authority: Felicitas von Peter
Responsible for content as per § 55 Abs. 2 RStV: Felicitas von Peter
Tax number: 27/613/01603
Approval of charitable status by assessment of the tax office Berlin from March 6th, 2017.

All content of this webpage is carefully checked. However we don't guarantee that the content is complete, correct and up-to-date. Only the respective provider is responsible for content and availability of webpages of third parties which are linked to our webpage.


Andrea Riebe and Raik Lüttke

Technical Implementation:
Frank Winter and Manuel Thieme


We thank think-cell for showing us the way to smarter presentation 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.


We collect and use your personal data solely in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the following document we will inform you about the manner, scope and purposes of collection and use of personal data. You can access this data protection statement at any time on our website. 

When visiting our website it is not necessary to register with us or share personal data with us. If you use our contact forms we will use the data you supply in order to communicate with you. Your internet browser automatically transmits data to our web server for technical reasons when accessing our website. This data partly concerns time and date of access, URL entered, files accessed, quantity of data transmitted, browser type and version, operating system and your IP address. Wew cannot connect these data to a particular person. These data may be employed for statistical purposes and then deleted. 

We use cookies to more attractively configure our website for visits. These comprise small text files which are left on your computer. The majority of the cookies we use are deleted from your hard drive when you end your browser session (so-called session cookies).Other cookies remain on your computer and enable us to recognise your computer when you next visit us (so-called permanent cookies). You can of course also view our website without cookies. If you would prefer us not to recognise your computer, you can prevent cookies from being saved to your hard disk by changing your browser settings. For more specific instructions, please refer to your browser’s manual. If you do not accept coookies, this may lead to a restriction of the services we can offer.

Our website uses Piwik, a web analytics service. Piwik uses "cookies", which are text files stored on your computer and allow us to analyze the use of the website. For this purpose, the information generated by the cookie (including your abbreviated and anonymous IP address) is transferred to our server and stored for analysis purposes only.  We use this information simple to optimization the site for user ease. In this process, your individual identity is unknown to us and the information generated about your use of our website will not be shared at any time with third parties. You may prevent the use of cookies by activating a setting in your browser, however certain features of this website may no longer function.
Analytics services (Source:

In accordance with the GDPR you have the right to access your saved data at no extra charge, and, were it to be required, the right to read, block or delete this data. Questions pertaining to collecetion, work with or use of your personal data on our website, or to information on, amendment, blocking or deletion of data, please contact us at

Contact Data Protection Officer

Julia Oestreich
Data Protection Officer of Forum for Active Philanthropy – inform inspire impact gGmbH
T +49 (0)30 240 88 240
datenschutz @