Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Funding priority

They support work that will work towards the following by 2030:

Our Natural World: Preserved and improved species health and habitats; Sustainable and ethical food; Clean and healthy freshwater.

Creative, Confident Communities: Communities use their power to make change happen; Local economies work better for the people who live there; Culture and creativity build thriving communities.

A Fairer Future: Improved systems, policy and practice; Organisations are strengthened to use their power to tackle systemic injustice and inequity; Organisations work together and build movements to tackle systemic injustice and inequity.



Type of funder

Charitable trust or foundation

Who can apply

Organisations with annual turnover of over £100,000 doing work that is legally charitable. A minimum of three trustees or directors, the majority of whom should not be paid employees.


– Organisations with an annual turnover of less than £100,000.
– Organisations without at least three trustees or directors (the majority of whom should be non-executive).
– Organisations without an asset lock or other general mechanism used to cover all the provisions designed to ensure that the assets of an organisation, including profits or surpluses generated, are used for the benefit of its community or to further its activities and mission (this exclusion applies to grants, for social investments, we only invest in organisations with charitable aims and mission). See our FAQs for information about the types of organisations we support in terms of governance).
– Grants for less than £30,000.
– Social investments for less than £100,000 or more than £2m.
– Work that is not legally charitable.
– Work that does not have a direct benefit in the UK.
– Grants to individuals.
– Capital costs including building work, renovations, and equipment (this exclusion applies to grants, we may make social investments for these).
– Academic research – unless it can demonstrate real potential for practical outcomes.
– Healthcare with a clinical basis, including medical research, hospices, counselling and therapy, arts therapy, education about and treatment for drug and alcohol misuse.
– Independent education – by this, we mean work which takes place or is delivered by fee-paying schools.
– Work that is primarily the responsibility of statutory authorities.
– The advancement of religion.

Funding Type

  1. One-off
  2. Regular
  3. Running costs

Grant details

Their grants support organisations’ core or project costs, including staff salaries and overheads. They also provide unrestricted funding for charities. In 2023 66% of their active grants are for core costs, or are unrestricted. Most of their grants are for three years (54%) or longer than three years (32%).

Size of grant

  1. Large (£50,000 and up)

Application details

1. Eligibility quiz
2. Read the guidance
3. Expression of Interest

After submitting an Expression of Interest, they will let you know if they will take your application further within four weeks. You will then be invited to submit a Proposal. After submitting a Proposal, they will let you know our decision within three months. For more details check out their FAQ.

Contact Details


Kings Place
90 York Way

N1 9AG

Telephone Number

020 7812 3700


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