The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grantmaking foundations in England, making grants to organisations which aim to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK, both now and in the future. They fund the programme in a number of ways.
The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. They make grants of £30 - £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. They also operate a £26 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.
In 1961 Ian Fairbairn, a leading City figure, decided to endow a charitable foundation with the bulk of his holdings in the company he had joined some 30 years before, M&G. M&G was a pioneer of the unit trust industry in the UK. It grew out of Ian Fairbairn’s determination that investments in equities, previously the preserve of the affluent, should be available to all – giving everyone the potential to own a stake in the nation’s economy.