It was the youths' own desire to make a difference in the world that moved the publicist Luiza Serpa, the economist Fernanda Tizatto and the journalist Marcos Pinheiro to found the Phi Institute in March 2014. Inspired by the work of philanthropist Marcos Flávio Azzi, a former financial market executive, they created Phi to advise individuals and corporations to donate to social projects, ensuring a well-applied investment and results measurement. The name "Phi" is inspired by the Greek word philantropia, which means "love of humanity" - in the case of the institute, the search is for intelligent philanthropy.

The time for the beginning of the project was not the best. In the month after the foundation, Brazil officially entered an economic recession. But with focus, persistence and the certainty that the work could turn the world into a better place, the results were appearing.

In 2016, the good results allowed the opening of a branch in São Paulo, increasing the number of investors and projects supported. This work in the two major cities of the country placed the institute among the 100 best NGOs in Brazil in its fourth year of existence in 2017. The prize offered by Revista Época and Doar Institute was again conquered in 2018.

Projects that are supported by Phi need to be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guidelines, which are a set of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly to make the world a better place. To reach these goals, there are 169 goals that need to be met and, along with the SDGs, are part of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. 

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