About Us

Staff and Trustees, 2017

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations that are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.

The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2016 we made grants of £42.4 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.

Learn more about our 2015-19 Funding Strategy, including our aims as a funder, and how we're thinking about impact and effectiveness.


Staff

Who's who at Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: our Trustees and staff.

50th anniversary party at The Whitechapel Gallery


Esmée Fairbairn
Esmée Fairbairn

Our history

In 1961 Ian Fairbairn, a leading City figure, decided to endow a charitable foundation with the bulk of his holdings in the company he had joined some 30 years before, M&G.

M&G was a pioneer of the unit trust industry in the UK. It grew out of Ian Fairbairn’s determination that investments in equities, previously the preserve of the affluent, should be available to all – giving everyone the potential to own a stake in the nation’s economy.

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