Philanthropy Impact

Inspiring philanthropy and social investment across borders, sectors and causes

Our Team


Grant Gordon


Grant Gordon is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. His charitable roles include chairing Philanthropy Impact, campaigning to grow modern philanthropy. His other principal charitable activities include the Childhood Trust, which he founded and which is helping to alleviate the impact of child poverty in London. In Scotland, he chairs the Cabrach Trust promoting rural regeneration in a remote community in Moray, and the William Grant Foundation, which focuses on creating opportunities for people to thrive. 

Grant is married to Brigitte and they have three daughters and two grandchildren.


Paul Knox

(Deputy Chair) Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

Paul is Head of EMEA Wealth Advisory Services. He has over twenty years’ experience in advising wealthy individuals on tax and estate planning issues.


Michael Alberg-Seberich

Managing Director, Beyond Philanthropy

Michael is a partner at the charitable Forum for Active Philanthropy and a Managing Director of its for-profit daughter company Beyond Philanthropy. He has more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy management and advise. Before joining Active Philanthropy in 2008, Michael worked at the Bertelsmann Foundation, where he originally led its international projects promoting democracy, human rights and tolerance. In 2005/6 he worked as a facilitator and strategy consultant for the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation. In 2006/7 he was responsible for the Carl Bertelsmann Prize for “Civic Engagement as a Goal of Education”. Michael began his career as an intercultural coach and program head  for the Deutsche Youth For Understanding Kommittee e.V. (YFU) in Hamburg.

Michael Alberg-Seberich studied North American Studies with a focus on Anthropology in Bonn and Vancouver. He is a trained communications instructor, facilitator and mediator.


Scott Barber

Partner, Buzzacott

Scott is a partner of Buzzacott Chartered Accountants and works within the Expatriate Tax Services team. He is an American Certified Public Accountant with over 20 years’ experience dealing with expatriate tax issues for private clients having worked for the Big 4 in Atlanta, Frankfurt and London since 1998. Scott deals with the US tax compliance and advisory aspects of dual qualified charities.  He is a trustee of the Buzzacott Stuart Defries Memorial Fund and Treasurer of the Harpenden Colts Football Club, a youth football club with over 800 members. 


Lucy Blythe

(Chair, GNC) Director, Philia International

As trustee, consultant, CEO and fundraiser, Lucy has recruited and worked with not-for-profit boards in the US and Europe for over 25 years.  After a career with such organisations as the San Diego Museum of Art, RSA, V&A, Kew Foundation, and an international search firm, she established PI with a mission to help Boards deliver more for their organisations through best practice in governance, succession planning and fundraising.


Matthew Bowcock CBE


Matthew Bowcock is a Council Member of the Arts Council of England and a trustee of Philanthropy Impact, The Philanthropy Workshop, the Beacon Awards and the Watts Gallery. He was previously Chairman of UK Community Foundations and a member of the Philanthropy Review Board. In 2012 he authored a report for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport called “Digital Giving in the Arts – Democratising Philanthropy.”  Through the Hazelhurst Trust he has focused his giving on community projects and developing more and better philanthropy.

His background is in technology entrepreneurship, company start-up and investment and he has established several businesses in Australia, the US and the UK.


Ceris Gardner

Partner, Maurice Turnor Gardner

Ceris advises UK and international philanthropists on planning their charitable giving strategy including the availability of tax reliefs and the requirements for cross border giving. Ceris advises charity trustees on constitutional and governance issues, on their powers and duties and on the increased risks and responsibilities facing them in the economic downturn and the challenges posed by the role of charities in the Big Society. Ceris is a trustee of Crimestoppers Trust and  secretary to the STEP Charity Special Interest Group.  Ceris contributes to press articles on philanthropy and gives talks on charity matters to private banks and other professional organisations.  She is also a member of STEP and the Charity Law Association.


Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz

Director, Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society

Director of the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Berlin, has worked as professional consultant, academic researcher, and policy advisor on philanthropy and civil society since 1987. He was Vice President of German Caritas, served on a Parliamentary Commission on Voluntary Action, on the Council of Europa Nostra and the board the Cariplo Foundation. He teaches and lectures regularly and has published widely on philanthropy and civil society issues. (

He studied at Colgate University, USA, and Munich University. His career included serving at headquarters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Rome, as Regional Director of the Order’s German Ambulance Corps, and President of The Duke of Bavaria’s Administration.


Rachel Harrington

Associate Director, Coutts Institute
Rachel has over a decade’s experience in the non-profit sector. After graduating from Oxford in 2004, she began her career in fundraising, working with a range of donors from individuals to major foundations. Having moved to Coutts in 2011, Rachel now specialises in helping clients and their families to develop their philanthropy so that is both effective and rewarding. She also supports clients around challenges such as how to talk about wealth as a family, planning for the future of the family business, and preparing children for inheritance. She acts as a volunteer adviser to the Coutts Foundation. 
Rachel is a trustee of Philanthropy Impact, a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Environmental Funders Network’s Expanding Environmental Philanthropy programme. She holds practising Certificates in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute.


Alana Petraske

(Chair, Body of Knowledge) Special Counsel

Alana advises charities and donors on a range of legal and tax matters, particularly connected to international and family philanthropy.   Alana has contributed to International Charitable Giving (OUP), Charitable Giving Desk Reference and other publications and has been quoted in The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian  and other publications. Alana is ranked in Legal 500 for charity law and education and Citywealth as a leading adviser in charity law as well as being named as a 'Rising Star' in Superlawyers 2015. Alana is Secretary of the Charity Law Association and a member of its Standing Committee on Taxation, as well as the International Bar Association. A New York native, Alana lives in South London. 


Cath Dovey

Co-founder of the Philanthropy Collaborative

Cath co-founded Scorpio Partnership, the global wealth management strategy and research firm. Over two decades, she oversaw the firm’s high-net-worth and strategy research capabilities on client engagement, the client experience, brand identity and the value proposition. She worked with 300 global, regional and niche organisations in more than 40 countries on their operational strategies. In the field of philanthropy, Cath led Scorpio Partnership’s global research work with major donors, family givers and family foundations. She also worked with a number of international private foundations on their future operational strategies. She is recognised as a global thought leader on international wealth management, the onshore and offshore environment, the client experience, global philanthropy, entrepreneurship, the family office, family wealth, the next generation, and women and wealth. Scorpio Partnership was acquired by AON in 2014. Currently, Cath is a trustee of Philanthropy Impact and is the co-founder of the Philanthropy Collaborative. She is also an advisory board member of the Family Office Association in the US and the Managing Partners Forum in the UK. 


John Pepin

Chief Executive

Philanthropy and social entrepreneurship have been his passion. This has been demonstrated in numerous ways including being an author and leader of innovation, change and growth. Experienced in innovative service and programme design, revenue generation, social enterprise and social investment, venture start-up and management, and business strategy consulting across multiple third sector verticals.

Based in the UK for 17 years, he spent over 15 years as a chief executive of a variety of Canadian charities/ social enterprises/ associations; and he has 20 years experience as a social entrepreneurial consultant internationally working with over 300 charities, social enterprises, infrastructure support organisations, and trade/ professional associations of all sizes and in rural and urban settings in the UK and internationally. Currently he is Chief Executive, Philanthropy Impact whose purpose is to increase philanthropic giving and social investment across Europe by working with wealth/ professional advisors to HNWI.   


Cecilia Hersler

Administration, Communication and Events Officer