Foundation Practice Rating Year 3: How Esmée did

The Foundation Practice Rating (FPR) has published its third annual report assessing foundations on three areas of practice: diversity, accountability and transparency. Below, we share more about how Esmée did.

This is the third year the Foundation Practice Rating has published its report. Every year, it assesses a group of 100 UK grant-making foundations, giving each foundation an objective rating of A, B, C or D (where A is top) on three areas of practice: diversity, accountability and transparency; as well as an overall rating. Assessments are made based on publicly available information so that it takes the perspective of prospective applicants.

As one of the funders of the initiative, Esmée has been included in the assessments alongside the five largest foundations and a random selection of community foundations and charitable foundations. In addition to sharing the ratings, the FPR share the criteria they assess foundations on. This acts as a checklist that funders can use to assess their own performance and identify opportunities to improve their practice. It's also important that as well as drawing on other rating systems, the criteria is informed by an annual public consultation, so the communities foundations serve can feed in.

Learn more about the Foundation Practice Rating

How Esmée did and what next

The latest findings show more foundations were given an overall rating of A compared to previous years, with performance on diversity remaining the weakest area for many foundations – including Esmée. As with last year, Esmée was given an overall A rating, and rated A for both Accountability and Transparency, but rated B for Diversity.

Since being assessed, we have shared our pay gap data alongside our 2023 Trustee and staff diversity data. More recently, we launched our Youth-Led Creativity programme, which was co-designed with our Involving Young People Collective and will accept video and audio recordings as part of the application process for the first time. We will also shortly be sharing all our policies as part of the information we share about our recruitment practice.

We’re grateful to initiatives such as FPR and the RACE Report for providing valuable insights into our practice. We have just completed our second applicant survey and will be sharing the results soon. We will then discuss the findings, together with those of the FPR and RACE Report, with staff and Trustees to help us identify further actions we can take.

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


You might be interested in

  • LocalMotion-Community members meet in Carmarthen, Wales, for a Learning Summit2

    LocalMotion secures £18m funding until 2031

    LocalMotion's original funders, including Esmée, are continuing their involvement in the social justice network, ensuring six places in England and Wales can realise their long-term plans for change.

    Read more
  • Northern Roots-Group of young people all pulling on a rope together in game

    Making partnerships work

    Read our new Insights report, which shares learning and advice from organisations we fund on what makes good partnerships, and how to make them work.

    Read more
  • Regents Canal near Angel

    What do people think about Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 2024

    Read the findings of a 2024 survey of successful and unsuccessful applicants about their experience of Esmée. Gina Crane, Esmée's Director of Communications and Learning shares her reflections on the findings.

    Read more