Esmée’s allocation to social investment increased to £60m


We are delighted to announce that Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is increasing our allocation to social investment to £60m.

The decision follows Esmée’s biggest year for social investment with 22 investments approved, totalling £12.9m. Since making our first social investment in 1997 and recycling our returns for impact, Esmée has approved over 200 impact-first investments totalling over £80m.

Our social investment support was formalised in 2008 with a £45m allocation managed separately from our endowment. The £15m increase will mean that we will be able to support even more brilliant charities, social enterprises and ventures creating positive impact from nature restoration to community wealth building.

The role of impact-first capital at Esmée

We recognise the vital and growing role of impact-first capital. We see it as a tool for unlocking innovation. For Esmée, this has also meant that we’ve been able to catalysing more capital into impact, supporting organisations and projects where traditional finance is unsuitable or inaccessible. Our impact-first approach starts with the social or environmental need and tailoring the investment accordingly. By being impact-first, we’re able to demonstrate how impact should be understood and incorporated across the spectrum of capital.

In a recent blog, we outlined our plans to closely align our investing to Esmée’s mission through a thematic lens, enabling us to identify opportunities for our social investment. We also shared more information about what that looks like for our work in Our Natural World and we’ll soon be sharing more about our work in our other two aims: A Fairer Future and Creative, Confident Communities. So watch this space!

We’re really excited about all that we’ll be able to do in support of our aims. But we’re also keen to do our bit for the investment market more broadly, as it increasingly looks at how to embed impact into its investment strategies.

Below, you can see a brief history of how our social investment has evolved.

Learn more


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