Peter Karoff

Founder and Chairman
The Philanthropic Initiative, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006

Helping donors increase the impact of their philanthropy

After a two-year sabbatical studying poetry, Boston business leader and civic activist Peter Karoff founded The Philanthropic Initiative in 1989. His plan, groundbreaking at the time, was to promote philanthropy and to greatly enlarge the pool of donors, encouraging them to give more, and more strategically. Today the Philanthropic Initiative is a nonprofit philanthropic consulting firm that provides strategic planning and programmatic services to individual donors, families, foundations and corporations. The Initiative offers not only advice, but research into areas of need, as well as a commitment to pro bono work. To date, The Philanthropic Initiative has helped to direct more than a billion dollars in philanthropic investment to address a broad range of social issues including: education, health, youth and family needs, hunger and nutrition, housing and homelessness, community and economic development, civic engagement, environmental issues, and the arts. Perhaps more importantly, it has spawned a burgeoning cottage industry of philanthropy advisors and consultants and has influenced the thinking and actions of thousands regarding the critical role new philanthropic capital can play in improving the quality of life in communities around the globe.