Nat Sloane ’75

2013 Distinguished Citizen Award

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By applying his financial expertise to venture philanthropy, Nat Sloane ’75 cofounded a company that in just a decade has raised 20 million pounds for UK charities reaching more than 300,000 people each year.

After two decades as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, management consultant, and social investor, Sloane cofounded Impetus Trust in 2002. The UK’s venture philanthropy pioneer, Impetus funds carefully selected charities to accelerate their growth—rather than supporting specific projects—by building a sustainable infrastructure for long-term growth and impact. “I didn’t want to just write checks,” Sloane told the Christian Science Monitor in a 2012 profile of eight innovative philanthropists. “I wanted to find a way to get involved and use my business skills.”

Sloane’s groundbreaking work at Impetus isn’t surprising. After growing up with a global outlook and commitment to social responsibility (thanks to his parents), Macalester was a natural next step. He majored in anthropology and linguistics before attending graduate school in Boston and Geneva. His successful banking and business career included a role at First Chicago Bank that sent him to Mexico City and Athens and then to Bain & Company in London. Eventually Sloane worked at Accenture in venture capital with early stage technology companies. All these experiences jumpstarted his ability to think creatively about venture philanthropy.

Sloane was recently appointed England Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, the UK’s largest distributor of lottery money to social causes. “He is recognized in the UK as being one of the country’s foremost thinkers on philanthropy and social innovation,” writes Dave Deno ’79, who nominated Sloane. “His unique vision for combining business skills and philanthropy is helping to change the face of charity in the UK.”