It was the saddest news to hear in August last year that Peter Hero had died of cancer. There are people who spread ideas and influence far and wide during their lifetimes. Peter Hero was one of them. Philanthropy across the world was lucky to learn from his enthusiasm, creative thinking and deep knowledge of giving over the last three decades.
Peter Hero took the Silicon Valley Community Foundation from $9 million to $1.2 billion in assets over 18 years. He encouraged the young tech tycoons, including Jeff Skoll (founder of eBay) to develop a culture of philanthropy focused on social impact. In addition, the community foundation movement in Australia was heavily influenced by Peter’s ideas and leadership.
The first time I met Peter, he was our guest expert speaker at the first Australian Community Foundation Forum in 2000. He was confident that Australia would benefit from more community foundations and that in time the movement would grow, as it had in the US, Canada, Europe and then around the world.