The resources of Oak Foundation originated from an interest in the Duty Free Shoppers business whichAlan Parker helped to build. Today, the Foundation comprises a group of philanthropic organisations based in various countries around the world.
Oak Foundation was formally established in 1998 in Geneva, Switzerland. The first two programmes to get underway were Environment and Child Abuse, followed by four other substantive programmes -- Housing and Homelessness, International Human Rights, Issues Affecting Women and Learning Differences. There is also a Special Interests Programme, which funds medical research and a range of other efforts identifiedby the Trustees that do not fall into the other programme areas, and two national programmes in Denmark and Zimbabwe.
Since its establishment over a decade ago, Oak Foundation has made over 2,400 grants to not-for-profit organisations across the globe. While its headquarters remain in Geneva, Oak has a presence in eight other countries, being Belize, Bulgaria, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, the UK, the US and Zimbabwe.Oak Foundation is governed by a five-member Board of Trustees that includes Kristian Parker, Chair;Caroline Turner, Vice Chair; Natalie Shipton, Vice Chair; Jette Parker and Alan Parker. An Advisory Panel also supports the Foundation's work on a range of grant-making issues. Current members areKathleen Cravero-Kristoffersson (President of Oak Foundation), Gary Goodman (Secretary for Oak Foundation), William Norris and Julie Sandorf. Funding decisions are made by the Board of Trustees, either individually or as a group. While the Board of Trustees meets twice annually, grants are considered on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year