Revising our strategy: update

We are looking forward to launching a revised strategy for Esmée Fairbairn Foundation in October 2020.

We had originally planned to launch our strategy in May 2020, but this has been delayed until October 2020, due to the coronavirus. Between May and October we will be concentrating our time and funds on supporting the organisations we already fund, to help them through this uncertain time.

Adapting to COVID-19

Like many organisations we support, Esmée also needs to reassess our strategy and ways of working in the wake of coronavirus. We are sharing the current outline of our revised strategy below, but we expect that some of our thinking will need to change and we will share this as it evolves.

Our new strategy

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will have three main aims:
  • Our natural world is protected, restored, and improved
  • A fairer future
  • Creative, confident communities

In everything we do, we recognise our role as an organisation in addressing the causes and impacts of climate change. Under our new strategy we will take a longer term view and - beginning with our natural world - we will use all our resources to unlock change. We will find partners and collaborators, work ourselves to remove barriers and secure progress, and use our voice to quietly influence policy and effect change.

Our natural world

To ensure our natural world is protected, restored and improved we will contribute to three key impact goals:

  • Preserved and improved species health and habitats
  • Clean and healthy fresh water
  • Sustainable and ethical food

Our priorities to achieve these will be: peat, freshwater, nature-friendly farming and fishing, space for nature.

A fairer future

To secure a fairer future our impact goals are likely to be:

  • Injustice and structural inequality is challenged and changed
  • A new inclusive generation of leaders and artists

Example priorities to work towards this include: tackling injustice, children and young people’s rights.

Creative, confident communities

To support creative, confident communities, our impact goals are likely to be:

  • Communities take an active role in decisions that affect them
  • Local economies work better for the people who live there
  • Everyone can access the benefits of culture and creativity

Example priorities to work towards this include: creativity transforming lives, communities working together for change and culture restoring communities.

What will not change

We will continue to:
  • Support brilliant work in the Arts, and all our sectors, in order to achieve our impact goals.
  • Spend c.£40m per year on grants, continue to make social investments, and maintain our commitment to supporting organisations with core and unrestricted grants.
  • Support new, vital or unusual ideas on the issues we care about. Ideas which could change the way we work, think, or create in future.
  • Support infrastructure, “backbone”, or second tier organisations which are key to achieving our impact goals, as well as a few key players that are doing essential work across all our sectors and impact goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which priorities are closing?

When can I apply for funding?

We are now closed to new applications until October 2020 when we plan to open to applications under the new strategy. If you are currently funded by us and would like to apply for continuation funding, please contact your Funding Manager directly. 

I have a grant with Esmée in one of the closing priorities, how will that be treated?

We will continue to support, value and learn from our grants. If your grant ends after 1 January 2021 and you wish to apply for continuation funding, you should apply under our new strategy after it’s launched in October 2020.

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