About Esmée

Our values

Our organisational values will act as a guide for staff and Trustees about how we work at Esmée. They are intended to provide a frame of reference for taking actions and making decisions at every level. In order to live up to these values we know that we will need to make changes to the way we work.

Our values


By equity, we mean striving for fair opportunities and outcomes for the people we work with, and endeavouring to understand and respond to their contexts, cultures, and characteristics. We recognise that a diversity of views leads to better decision making.


By kindness, we mean showing empathy and consideration in how we treat people and treat each other. We recognise that people are at the heart of what we do. So, in all our work, we listen carefully to understand what people need and to respect their views.


By integrity, we mean being honest and holding ourselves to the highest standards of behaviour. We are clear and straightforward in our relationships and in our communications, and accountable for our actions and their effect on others. Being accountable includes being transparent about our decisions, our investments and the impact of our work.


By ambition, we mean using the opportunity given to us by our endowment to be bold and proactive, to take risks and ask questions. We encourage independent thinking, we learn and adapt, and we always ask ourselves “what more could we do?”

Working together

By working together, we mean generous collaboration where all partners’ resources, skills, lived experience and expertise are valued. We recognise that working alone limits what we can achieve, so we pool resources with others wherever possible, and share the risk and responsibility of making change happen.

Open about our funding data

We publish data about our grants and social investment on 360Giving. Learn more about our portfolio and search our funding data.

Halo Code

Our workplace champions the right of staff to embrace all Afro-hairstyles. We acknowledge that Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, and requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance. Learn more about the Halo Code.

Open and trusting grant-making

We are part of a community of funders and charities committed to open and trusting grant-making, a campaign coordinated by the Institute for Voluntary Action (IVAR). Learn more about open and trusting grant-making.

Living Wage funder and employer

We are a Living Wage funder, meaning we encourage our applicants to pay their staff the UK Real Living wage as a minimum. As a Living Wage employer, everyone working at Esmée, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors and suppliers, receives the London Living Wage. Learn more about the Living Wage.

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