In October 2021, using the DEI Data Standard, we started gathering data on organisations we fund as well as those applying to us so that we can better understand who our funding is reaching. This report shares our initial analysis of data gathered from October 2021-September 2022.
At Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we are committed to social justice, and to tackling injustice and inequality. We believe that understanding and making progress towards diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) will be critical in helping as create a fairer, more inclusive society, and ultimately make us a better funder.
Developed by 360Giving and The Social Investment Consultancy, the DEI Data Standard is a framework to monitor equity considerations in grantmaking. Rather than try to capture all population groups and characteristics, it focuses on those that face structural inequity because of that particular characteristic. By adopting the Standard, we hope to use the data we gather to help us identify and address structural inequity in our funding, and ensure that our funding practice is fair and just.
Starting to understand our data
This is the first time we have gathered so much data on who our funding is reaching and the applications we receive. There is still a lot for us to delve into and we will continue to share more from the data we gather as we process it. In the meantime, we hope this initial analysis offers some insight into who our funding is reaching, as well as transparency on how we are using the data we gather.
Improving and sharing our data
- We want to improve our data so that we have as accurate a picture of our funding as possible. To do this, we will be following up with everyone we fund to ask them to complete the DEI monitoring form if they haven't already done so. There will also be an opportunity for those who have completed the form to update their data if things have changed.
- We're also really interested in what you would like to know about our funding data... So if you have any feedback or a question, do get in touch.
You can email us about anything in this report or our diversity, equity and inclusion plans by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also publish all our funding data onto 360Giving. Learn more about our funding and how to search our grants and social investments.
About the sample
This report includes data collected from October 2021 to September 2022. The data we’re sharing represents almost half of the organisations in our funding portfolio (all active grants and social investments as of 30 September 2022) alongside most of the applications (expressions of interest) we received during October 2021 to September 2022.
Due to the length of our funding process (in general, the turnaround time for a full application from expression of interest to a final decision can take up to six months), we're not yet able to include a true success rate analysis. However, we can still draw some findings by comparing the current makeup of our funding and the applications received. Although it's worth noting that we were closed to applications towards our aim for A Fairer Future between January and October 2022, which is likely to have had some impact on the applications received.
In total, the data in this analysis is based on:
- 431 funding awards (48% of our funding - the vast majority are grants but the sample also includes 13 social investments)
- 706 applications (82% of expressions of interest that meet our minimum eligibility criteria)
What we asked organisations
Using the categories identified in the DEI Data Standard, we asked organisations to complete a DEI monitoring form so that we could better understand the communities the work supports, their leadership, and their mission and purpose.
- Communities the work supports
We want to know if 75%* or more of the people receiving support or are intentionally being targeted share a particular identity or lived experience. Organisations could also select sub-categories within each category where relevant. Those that did not select a category are classified as 'no specific group' for that category.
- The leadership (the key decision-makers)
We want to know if the organisation is 'led by' people who share a particular identity or lived experience (we define 'led by' as being where 75% or more of the Board/Management Committee AND 50% of senior staff sharing a particular identity or experience). Organisations could also select sub-categories within each category where relevant.
Those that did not select a category (based on our definition of 'led by') are classified as 'no specific group' for that category. Organisations could, if they wished, provide further information using the free text box in the form.
- The organisation's mission
We want to know if their mission and purpose specifically targets a specific group or community (for instance, they might be included in their constitution). Organisations could also select sub-categories where relevant. Those that did not select a category are classified as 'no specific group' for that category.
* This figure of 75% - or 3 in 4 people - was decided on after working with a wide range of groups. We know this can only be an estimate.
Below, we share some of the key findings based on an overview of the data on our funding and the applications received. They cover the following categories in the DEI Data Standard: children and young people, communities experiencing racial inequity, disabled people, educational or economic disadvantage, faith, LGBT+ people, migrants, older people, and women and girls. We have also gathered information on other lived experiences not covered by the categories, but have not included them in this initial analysis.
On other pages, you'll find further analysis on some of the most relevant categories to our strategy: communities experiencing racial inequity, disabled people, people who are educationally or economically disadvantaged, LGBT+ people, migrants, and women and girls.
Our funding compared to applications received
Charts 1 and 2 show how our funding compares to data we gathered on applications. Chart 1 looks at the communities the work supports and chart 2 looks at the organisation's leadership.
What we found:
- Overall, 45% of our funding supports people who face structural inequity as a result of their identity or lived experience, and 36% of organisations are led by people who face structural inequity as a result of their identity or lived experience.
- Of applications received, 50% were for work that supports a group of people who face structural inequity as a result of their identity or lived experience, and 42% of applicant organisations were led by people who face structural inequity as a result of their identity or lived experience.
- Comparing our funding to applications received, a higher percentage of applications were from organisations that support specific communities that experience inequity, and there is a similar trend for leadership. The only exception is for migrants where 8.8% of our funding, and 7.1% of applicant organisations, were led by and for migrants.
- For communities the work supports, the biggest difference between our funding and applications received is for people who are educationally or economically disadvantaged: they make up 14.4% of our funding, but 23.1% of applications received.
- For leadership, the biggest difference between our funding and applications received is for disabled people: they make up the leadership of 9.7% of our funding, but 13% of applications received.
- There is a notable difference between the number of organisations led by people who are educationally or economically disadvantaged (2.8% in our funding, and 4.9% in applications,) and those whose work supports people who are educationally or economically disadvantaged (14.4% in our funding, and 23.1% in applications). There is also a big difference in terms of 'children and young people', but this is to be expected.
- In general, the percentage of organisations led by a specific group of people tends to be smaller than those that support that specific group of people, but women and girls is an exception: 16% of funded organisations are led by women, compared to 7.2% whose work specifically supports women and girls. There is a similar trend for applications received.
Average amount awarded in our funding
Charts 3 and 4 show the average amount awarded in our funding: chart 3 looks at the communities the work supports and chart 4 looks at the organisation's leadership.
What we found:
- When it comes to the average amount awarded to work that supports specific communities, those supporting children and young people, communities experiencing racial inequity, disabled people, people who are educationally or economically disadvantaged, or older people, are lower than the average amount awarded in our funding. (See chart 3)
- In terms of leadership, the average amount awarded to those led by 'no specific group', or by older people, was higher than the average amount awarded in our funding. All those led by other specific groups had been awarded, on average, a lower amount. (See chart 4)