Our history

Impetus Trust, founded in 2002 by Stephen Dawson and Nat Sloane, was the first organisation in the UK to apply a venture philanthropy approach. The Private Equity Foundation (PEF) was set up in 2006 by a group of leaders from the private equity industry headed up by Ramez Sousou, who wanted to apply private equity disciplines to help great charities become even better.

Both organisations harnessed their private equity and investment expertise. In seeking to pioneer a new way of working with promising charities, each brought a long-term approach, rigorous performance management, a focus on impact, and the capacity to scale high-performing organisations. They looked to form partnerships with great charities, to help them grow stronger, better and bigger. Both took a similar venture philanthropy approach – providing their charity partners with grant funding, and supplementing it with the expertise of their internal investment teams and extensive pro bono networks.

When Impetus Trust and PEF merged in 2013 to form Impetus-PEF, it was the perfect opportunity to consolidate and focus. We set ourselves the mission of getting the right support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, so they could succeed in school and work.

Now, we’re known simply as 'Impetus'. We're building on the foundations our founders laid for us as much as ever. We've taken their philosophies further, with more emphasis on helping our charities make a greater impact and expand their work. We’re spreading that message too, sharing what we've learned so that our impact management approach is recognised and applied across the charity sector.

Walk through our timeline, meet our team and our Board.