Our Support


Sea Ranger Service

We make unrestricted, core and project grants for charitable work in the UK.

Learn more about our approach to funding, and what to expect from us as a funder.

COVID-19 flexibility

As a result of COVID-19, we know that many organisations are still in crisis mode. To better support organisations through this, we want to provide flexibility on our strategy, our application process and in our approach to reporting. You can learn more about this in our guidance for support.

Open and trusting grant-making

We are part of a community of funders and charities committed to open and trusting grant-making, a campaign coordinated by the Institute for Voluntary Action (IVAR).

Our approach to funding

Long-term, core funding
  • 66% of our active grants are for core costs, or are unrestricted.
  • Most of our grants are for three years (54%) or longer than three years (32%).
Backing the work we care about
Flexible and open to learning
  • Our approach to learning is based on setting mutually agreed outcomes for the work we fund. We expect these outcomes to change over time.
  • We encourage organisations to tell us when things are not going well, and to change and adapt their work over the course of our grant.
  • We will only ask for information we need and use, and commit to sharing what we learn.
Increasing our capacity
  • At the moment, we have a London-based team of 11 funding managers managing an active portfolio of 900 grants.
  • Under our new strategy we will be making longer, larger grants and the size of our portfolio will decrease. We will have more time to meet, visit and talk to the organisations we fund as time goes on.
  • Please invite us to events and meetings - we will make every effort to attend if we can, and if not we will try to highlight and support the valuable work in other ways.

What to expect from Esmée

  • Clore Social Leadership

    Grant reporting

    Reporting to Esmée should be easy for you and valuable for both of us. We will only ask for information we need and use.

    Read more
  • The Community Farm

    Terms & Conditions

    Information on the general Terms & Conditions for organisations who accept a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

    Read more
  • Terms_Conditions_thumb.jpg

    Outcomes and indicators

    We ask applicants to identify the key outcomes they seek to achieve as a result of the work that we fund as well as the indicators they will use to monitor progress.

    Read more
Zoielogic Dance Theatre

Our portfolio

We publish all our grants and social investments on 360Giving, an initiative that aims to help UK funders share their data in an open and standard format online.

Find out more
Praxis Community Projects, Brighter Futures

Funding in partnership

Using our experience and expertise, we work in partnership with other funders and organisations to co-design solutions and influence larger initiatives so that we can effect broader change. This includes exploring new approaches to funding to increase our reach and share learning. Examples include our funding partnerships such as the Act for Change Fund, Local Motion and Arts and Culture Impact Fund.

Find out more