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Our Values

Founding principles

The Kurt and Magda Stern Foundation (KMSF) was established in 2016 by Kurt and Magda’s granddaughter, Tamsin Hoare. She wanted to build a legacy for them that would reflect their early experience as refugees fleeing persecution and conflict, while also drawing on her own experiences and knowledge of hugely complex social issues through her former work as a frontline police officer. KMSF aims to help those who – like Kurt, Magda and so many others, from so many causes – experience the pain of past trauma, and uncertain futures.

We are an independent charitable Foundation and do not raise funds from the public, or other bodies. As such, we are able to take risks where we feel they could lead to positive transformation, championing new ways to tackle long- standing problems; and we are eager to collaborate with the partners we fund as they research and develop creative solutions.

We support innovative and transformational projects, pilots and research, across a range of sectors, with a focus on early intervention and root causes, which aim to create real change for lives and systems.

We believe that early intervention is preferable to eventual rescue; that with the right support, people can avoid becoming trapped in broken systems; and that with the right approach, broken systems can and must be made to work in the way that they should.

We understand that the most important voices in any conversation about systemic change are the voices of people with first-hand experience of those systems.


KMSF does not accept any unsolicited applications for funding. Instead, we actively seek out partners with whom we wish to work – searching for ambitious and innovative organisations, projects and ideas.

As well as financial support, we try to add as much value as possible beyond that, contributing our knowledge, skills and experience where and when we can, to make a difference to those we fund and to deepen our relationship with them.

Investment strategy

We know that, for an investment strategy to be genuinely sustainable, it is not enough simply to avoid doing harm (although of course, that is essential). The KMSF portfolio is managed so that our investments also, where possible, benefit people and the planet, and contribute to solutions.

We receive regular, detailed impact reports regarding our portfolio, and actively participate in conversations around our fund manager’s sustainable investment policies.

We regularly review our own investment policy guidelines to ensure we are making the best possible choices available to us.

Standards in action

As an organisation, and as individuals, we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards of behaviour and attitudes. We see philanthropy as both a responsibility and a privilege, and are always ready to listen to, and learn from, those with expertise and experience in the areas where we hope to make a difference.

We are transparent in all our undertakings, and remain up to date with all reporting requirements.

We are happy to be held accountable for our decisions, which are taken in accordance with our articles of association, with Charity Commission law and guidance, and in line with our objects, with the aim of improving lives and systems for people with traumatic pasts, and uncertain futures.