Our Annual Report and Accounts for 2022

Our 2022 Annual Report and Accounts gives an overview of our funding, investments and operations during the year.

In my first statement as Chair I want to reflect on all that has been achieved in a demanding year by the charities and other partners which Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has been privileged to support. I am heartened by their unwavering dedication to creating long-lasting change whilst navigating existing and emerging challenges.

Beatrice Hollond, Chair, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

2022 has been a year of transition and transformation for Esmée. When we first launched our strategy in 2020, we knew there could not be a return to business as usual, and that we needed to take time to determine what role we should play.

We shared our new ambitions for A Fairer Future, focusing our support for organisations that are grappling with the complexity of systemic inequity. Partnerships and collaborations continued to play a key role across all our work: enabling us to influence and deliver change on a wider scale, as well as helping us to re-examine and redefine the relationships between funders and those leading the change.

We are determined to use every resource that we have to push for change and are excited to work with so many of you in making that change a reality.

Funding in 2022

In total, we provided £40.6m in funding, which includes £36.2m in grants awarded, £2.7m in social investments committed, our first impact investment of £1m, and £743k through our tools spending for work to support our strategy.

Chart 1 shows a breakdown of our funding by strategic aim and funding type. You can see a more detailed breakdown along with a listing of grants, social and impact investments in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Grant applications

During 2022, we reviewed 779 eligible expressions of interest - lower than we'd usually expect due to the temporary closure to applications in A Fairer Future. We also reviewed a total of 206 proposals, awarding 188 grants.

The pie charts below show the success rates for applications - excluding those for follow-on grants and applications we proactively invited.

Diversity of who we funded in 2022

Chart 3 reflects data we gathered about the communities our funding supports and the leadership of the organisations we funded in 2022. The chart focuses on population groups most relevant to our strategy and includes data on organisations who submitted their DEI data. Funding for these organisations totalled £33.2m and includes both main grants and social investments.

Learn more about our work on diversity, equity and inclusion, and how we classify our funding.

Sustainable investing

We aim to grow our investments by UK inflation (RPI) plus 4% to support our charitable work.

With weaker financial markets as a result of high inflation and other events, our endowment was down by 9.6% to £1.3bn. Following a commitment to a net zero carbon strategy for our investment portfolio, we increased our allocation to enhanced ESG investing to 5% (around £70m) of the overall portfolio. Our Trustees also agreed to update our investment approach to support a transition to sustainable investing.

Overview of 2022

  • £36.2m

    Total grant funding

  • 180

    Organisations awarded main grants (excludes Funding Plus, Task and exceptional grants)

  • £3.7m

    Social and Impact investment committed

  • £1.3bn

    Endowment total

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