The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of

true art and true science.

 — Albert Einstein 

what's new

what's new at pfc?

Read our latest articles, publications, appearances, and good news.

Latest News: January 2018

How to Address the Power Imbalance in Impact Investing? Shut Up and Listen

Gayle Peterson, Sanjana Govil, and Clint Bartlett's entry into NextBillion's blog discusses the necessity of listening to community when implementing an impact investment in a foreign place. Impact investors may have the the money and power in the relationship, but the community has the knowledge and experience. Without ceding some of that power to the community, investments have the potential to fail and do more harm than good.


March 2017

Pamela Hartigan: an appreciation

Gayle Peterson and Pegram Harrison reflect on the life of their friend and colleague, Pamela Hartigan, a pioneer in social entrepreneurship. Her optimism and determination are greatly missed, but her influence can be found from the World Economic Forum and Oxford, to Latin America and Washington DC.


February 2017

Leaders Must Listen to Solve Big Problems, Author Says

pfc's case studies on the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation are the basis for this article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. CEOs Monique Villa and Emmett Carson exemplify the characteristics of deliberate leaders who take on risks, recalibrate after failures, and listen to colleagues and stakeholders. Both Villa and Carson are featured in pfc's upcoming book, Good, Evil, Wicked: The Art, Science, and Business of Giving.

Philanthropy's deliberate leaders: the story of the ClimateWorks Foundation

pfc's case study on the ClimateWorks Foundation is featured in this month's issue of Alliance magazine. In this op-ed, written by Gayle Peterson, Gayle contrasts the 'deliberate chaos' of the Trump administration with the deliberate leadership of the Hewlett and Packard foundations, who together took an enormous but brave risk by investing US$1B in the ClimateWorks foundation. This piece explains how, in the absence of good governance, philanthropy can lead by example in addressing the world's most complex, 'Wicked' problems.

Press Releases


pfc, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, has published a case study examining SVCF's first ten years as a foundation. What began as a merged entity between two existing foundations has become a one-of-a-kind philanthropy--one that defines "community" not in terms of geographic space, but where the hearts of its stakeholders live. You can read the full press release on the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's website.


pfc, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, released today Six Recipes for a Better World, a series of case studies in the form of a cookbook which illustrate the successes and challenges of farm to early childhood education. Click here to read the press release in full.


Features, Research, and Publications

Class Action: Why Philanthropists Are Going Back to School


Campden FB

Private philanthropies, impact investors, and high net worth individuals are stepping up to fill the gaps in education funding where governments cannot. pfc's Gayle Peterson explains how private giving is changing the landscape of education worldwide.


May 2016

For the Oxford Impact Investing Programme, we produced case studies (found on our trendsetting research page) and two briefs available here: Slavery in Impact Investing and Gender Lens Investing. Enjoy!

A Greater Human Touch Is Needed

Impact investing, which harnesses business methods to achieve social good, is seen as one effective tool to achieve social change...Opinion by Gayle Peterson in livemint


Latest Podcast: Arts and Impact Investing

Around the world organisation are using the Arts as a way to create change and economic development. Andrea Nemtin, CEO, Inspirit Foundation, and Oksana Oracheva, General Director, Vladimir Potanin Foundation, discuss their programmes...


What the CSR Law Can Do in India



At the Vodafone Foundation India case study lauch, Gayle Peterson talks about how volunteers from top management can foster social change.


Agency for Social Innovation

During a presentation at the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management seminar onThe Future of Philanthopy (hosted by the Wealth Transformation Centre), Jim Litwin was interviewed by the Agency for Social Innovation (ASI). The ASI is a non-profit support organization and news agency. In the interview, Jim...


TrustLaw Awards


Gayle Peterson moderated a keynote discussion with Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation, to kick off the 2015 TrustLaw Awards honoring the accomplishments of pro bono legal teams and nonprofit organizations that have partnered to address some of the most difficult human rights challenges around the globe…


Arts and impact investing


Alliance Magazine

The March feature on the role and value of arts and culture in philanthropy was provocative and, for me, very timely. I have just finished directing the Oxford Impact Investing Programme where, for the first time in three years, we had participants who came specifically to learn more about arts and impact investing. The programme also coincides with my research for an upcoming book, Good, Evil, Wicked: The Art, Science, and Business of Giving, which showcases innovative investments in the arts as a social change tool….