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Fund title: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Focus of fund/fund aims:

Grants and social investment in the arts, children & young people, environment, social change and food.

Application deadline:

Applications can be made at any time

Fund description:

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. It offers grants and social investment to organisations which do charitable work in the UK under the following themes:


  • organisations at a pivotal point – organisationally or artistically
  • development of emerging talent
  • art as an instrument for social change, community cohesion or participation

Children & Young People

  • social and emotional development of disadvantaged children and young people
  • the rights of vulnerable children and young people
  • addressing the root causes of low educational attainment and challenging behaviour
  • civic and political participation for young people under-represented in decision-making
  • young people leaving care*

*this is a new focus for the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation,


  • connecting people with nature
  • large-scale conservation of natural environments on land and at sea
  • countering the effects of damaging human activities
  • lesser known plants, animals and organisms

Social Change

  • participation – marginalised and excluded individuals and groups
  • place – revitalising community life
  • injustice – systemic change around injustice and inequality


  • local innovation in alternative approaches
  • food and wellbeing
  • working towards a more coherent food sector

Grants can range from £5,000 to £1.5m and can cover projects or core costs, including staff salaries and overheads. The foundation does not provide grants for building or equipment costs although it may be possible to receive repayable social investment.

The foundation also offers additional support to its grant and investment recipients through its ‘Grants Plus’ package which covers skills, networking, advocacy and strategic support.

Further information: