Our aims

In March 2015 we published our new five year Funding Strategy.

Esmée does not fund according to programmes or prescriptive criteria. We are driven by our aims. Each is effective individually. Together, over time, they can combine to build powerful impact.  This is our 'theory of change'.

Esmée's aims:

Reveal the unseen and champion the unpopular

We support people to address difficult issues which are not well known or understood.  Where a combination of complex problems, silence or social pressure might lead to prejudice and stigma.  Or where the importance of the work might be overlooked because it is niche, specialised or technical.   

Example funding: Circles South EastIce and Fire, Inquest, The Irene Taylor Trust ‘Music in Prisons’, Female Genital Mutilation InitiativeRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew's 'Lost & Found Fungi Project'Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Standing Committee for Youth Justice

Strengthen and connect communities for change

We believe that communities working together with partner organisations or social movements can make more of a difference to people’s lives. We support creative or unexpected approaches to community action, and work that makes the sharing and exchange of ideas, methods or data easier.  We aim to strengthen the capacity of our funding sectors, as well as wider civil society.  

Example funding: Artcity StokeArts at the Old Fire StationFéile an PhobailLandlife, Darnall ForumSpice, Women’s Resource Centre

Catalyse system change

We support work that sets out to change the systems which prevent individuals, families and communities from living a fulfilling life, or  threaten to damage the natural environment. We back organisations that have the vision and the know-how to improve lives in the UK on a broad scale, benefiting current and future generations.  

Example funding: Bat Conservation Trust, ClientEarth  Coram Children’s Legal CentreEarly Action Neighbourhood FundMedact, World Development Movement, Just for Kids LawUpRising

Unlock and enable potential

We back exceptional people with inspiring, practical ideas and organisations that have developed new approaches. By core funding organisations we aim to provide the space for experimentation, learning and refinement so that the sector and the people it serves discover, in turn, how best to fulfil their potential.  

Example funding: Derby Theatre, CDI Apps for Good, Fair for You, Frantic Assembly, Graeae Theatre Company, Leap Confronting Conflict, Mac UK, Unltd - Lead the Change, Y-Cube