Dr. Felicitas von Peter

Founder and Managing Partner

For many years, Felicitas von Peter has been interested how people with resources (money, ideas and networks) can help to make the world a better place. In 2006 she founded the independent platform Active Philanthropy to bring together business families from all over Europe and help them to develop and implement projects for the common good. In 2011, she co-founded Beyond Philanthropy, a for-profit consultancy which helps businesses and foundations to maximise the impact of their philanthropic activities.

Before establishing Active and Beyond Philanthropy, Felicitas von Peter spent seven years with the Bertelsmann Foundation, where she co-chaired the international project “The Philanthropy Workshop”, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, from 2002 to 2006. This project helped donors worldwide to better leverage their resources. From 1998 to 2002 she ran the Bertelsmann Foundation’s international media and education projects, and supervised the set up of the foundation’s office in New York.

Felicitas von Peter read history, political science and philosophy at the Universities of Bonn, Heidelberg, Paris and Cambridge (UK) and holds a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge (UK). She is a member of the advisory board of the Schöpflin Stiftung, of Deutsches Stiftungszentrum, a member of the supervisory board of B Lab Europe and board member of INDEX: Design to Improve Life.

In 2010 Felicitas von Peter was nominated a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum.



Karolin Geike


Karolin Geike joined Active Philanthropy in May 2018. As the personal assistant to the managing partner, Karolin supports Felicitas von Peter in her goal to connect business families who want to make maximum impact with their donations and social investments.



Gabriele Störmann

Senior Consultant

Gabriele has been with Active Philanthropy from shortly after its beginning. She supported Felicitas von Peter in bringing together business families from all over Europe and in developing formats such as the Greenland expeditions or seminars on a variety of topics. She was also in charge of setting up the Active Library, a knowledge platform on philanthropy and social investment.

Furthermore Gabriele has led research processes and co-authored reports and articles on various sectors, including topics like non-profit funding for journalism, the benefit of youth advisory councils, succession planning in family-led foundations and family philanthropy.

Before joining Active Philanthropy, Gabriele was with the Bertelsmann Foundation for seven years, where she ran the foundation’s donor programs together with Felicitas von Peter. She also worked on the first national study on German donors (“Stiften in Deutschland”) and on a new platform aiming at connecting foundations and NGO’s in the area of youth. Gabriele also has experience in the private sector where she worked for different customer relationship programs managed by the Bertelsmann Corporation.

Gabriele studied Business Administration at Worms University of Applied Sciences and graduated as an Industrial Management Assistant at Bertelsmann. She co-authored articles in industry books and magazines such as “Stiftung & Sponsoring”.



Janek Steitz

Janek Steitz


Janek joined Active Philanthropy in early 2018 as Consultant. His special focus is on finace-related matters within the scope of donation/investing processes, such as financial and risk due diligence of grantees, structuring of financing vehicles for social engagements and fundraising.

Prior to joining Active Philanthropy, Janek was part of the transaction advisory services team of Ernst & Young in Berlin, where he worked on business valuations, financial due diligences and other business modelling tasks.

Janek studied economics at the university of Muenster and ISEG School of Management in Lisbon as well as finance at HHL Graduate School of Management in Leipzig and National Taiwan University in Taipei.




Kerstin Ischen


Kerstin looks back on almost 20 years of professional experience in the areas of communication and major gift fundraising. Before working for Active and Beyond Philanthropy, Kerstin took care of public relations and fundraising at the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss. She began her professional career at the Bertelsmann Foundation and became a Development & Outreach Manager with Human Rights Watch in Berlin, via positions at the publishing houses Random House and Editorial Anagrama in Barcelona.

Kerstin studied Modern Languages at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The career combined English studies, business administration and Spanish studies. She graduated as a qualified business anglicist (Diplom-Wirtschaftsanglistin).



Carina Lindner

Student Assistant Communications

Carina has supported our Active Philanthropy team as a student assistant in communications since July 2018. Prior to Active, Carina completed a bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit, Social and Health Care Management in Innsbruck and New Delhi. In addition to her work at Active Philanthropy, she is specialising in the third sector by studying the master programme Nonprofit Management and Public Governance. Apart from that she is volunteering for refugees and homeless people in Berlin.