Foundation Practice Rating Year 2: How Esmée did

The Foundation Practice Rating (FPR) has published its second annual report assessing foundations on three areas of practice: diversity, accountability and transparency.

In 2022, the FPR assessed 100 UK foundations, including Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. With criteria developed in consultation with the wider voluntary sector as well as from existing standards and good practice sources, it gives foundations a rating from A to D (A being very good and D not so good) for each area of practice, in addition to an overall rating.

Now in its second year, the FPR has been a powerful tool for funders seeking to improve their practice by highlighting where they do less well and sharing good practice.

Learn more about Foundation Practice Rating.

How Esmée did

Esmée was one of seven foundations given an overall A rating, reflecting progress made in all three areas of practice. We were rated B for Diversity (an improvement on the C we received last year), and maintained our A rating for both Accountability and Transparency. We’re grateful both to the FPR for helping to reflect on our practices, and to other foundations for generously sharing practice that we could adapt and adopt.

Whilst we’re pleased to have improved our practice, we recognise there is more that we can do to be a better funder - particularly on diversity. Since being assessed, we have shared diversity data about who our funding is reaching, started offering Access Payments for accessibility-related support to apply, and plan to do a full review of our processes this year, which will take into account findings from the FPR, as well as research we’ve commissioned (including applicant perception research from nfpResearch and a DEI review of our funding practice from TSIC) and our anonymous applicant feedback survey.

Our commitments to do better

We will continue to challenge ourselves in what more we can do, to listen and act on feedback. As part of this, we commit to:

  • Continuing to share the diversity of our staff and Trustees.
  • Exploring what more we can share about our data on applications and our funding, and encourage other funders to do the same.
  • Exploring ways we can offer pre-application advice.

We’re always keen to receive feedback on our work and how we’re doing, so if you’d like to get in touch, please send us an email at

Learn more

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